Zacks Investment Research Lowers Visa (V) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Visa (NYSE:V) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Saturday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $179.00 price target on the credit-card processor’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Visa’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company is gaining from consistent growth in payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions, and a lower tax rate. Numerous strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing have paved the way for long-term growth and consistent increase in revenues. Visa is well poised to gain from growing electronic payment processing and a solid brand name. Its strong capital position enables investments in business. Nevertheless, high client incentives and operating expenses, and foreign exchange volatility might put pressure on margins. “

V has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Oppenheimer boosted their price objective on Visa from $162.00 to $176.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a buy rating and issued a $160.00 price objective on shares of Visa in a research note on Thursday, January 31st. Jefferies Financial Group initiated coverage on Visa in a research note on Monday, January 28th. They issued a buy rating and a $135.99 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks reissued an outperform rating and issued a $250.00 price objective on shares of Visa in a research note on Friday, February 1st. Finally, Wedbush boosted their price objective on Visa from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $176.58.

Shares of V traded up $0.90 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $160.71. The stock had a trading volume of 5,190,658 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,472,081. Visa has a 52 week low of $121.60 and a 52 week high of $165.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 1.62 and a current ratio of 1.62. The company has a market capitalization of $318.99 billion, a PE ratio of 34.86, a P/E/G ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.00.

Visa (NYSE:V) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The credit-card processor reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.07. Visa had a return on equity of 40.56% and a net margin of 51.34%. The company had revenue of $5.49 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.46 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.11 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Visa will post 5.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 4th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 17th will be given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.62%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 16th. Visa’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.69%.

In related news, SVP James H. Hoffmeister sold 6,480 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.00, for a total transaction of $978,480.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,480 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $978,480. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP William M. Sheedy sold 75,676 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.24, for a total value of $12,504,702.24. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 300,114 shares in the company, valued at $49,590,837.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 188,202 shares of company stock worth $29,962,762 over the last ninety days. 0.17% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of V. Holistic Financial Partners purchased a new position in Visa in the third quarter valued at about $379,000. Zevin Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Visa by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. Zevin Asset Management LLC now owns 130,112 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $19,529,000 after acquiring an additional 1,337 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC boosted its stake in shares of Visa by 5.9% during the 3rd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 409,968 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $61,532,000 after acquiring an additional 22,975 shares in the last quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Visa by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC now owns 75,533 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $11,337,000 after acquiring an additional 364 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Main Street Research LLC boosted its stake in shares of Visa by 6.3% during the 3rd quarter. Main Street Research LLC now owns 127,031 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $19,066,000 after acquiring an additional 7,576 shares in the last quarter. 81.02% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Visa Company Profile

Visa Inc operates as a payments technology company worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners, and government entities. It operates VisaNet, a processing network that enables authorization, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions; and offers fraud protection for account holders and assured payment for merchants.

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