Visa (NYSE:V) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Visa (NYSE:V) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Saturday, Zacks.com reports. They presently have a $180.00 target price on the credit-card processor’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 6.09% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Visa 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. Numerous strategic acquisitions and alliances plus technology upgrades and effective marketing have paved the way for long-term growth and a consistent increase in revenues. The acquisition of Visa Europe is a long term growth strategy for the company. Its international business has been expanding and adds diversification benefits. Visa is well-poised to gain from the growing electronic payment processing and a solid brand name. Its strong capital position facilitates business investments. Nevertheless, high client incentives and operating expenses weigh on its operating margins. Adverse foreign exchange volatility imparts instability to the company’s earnings.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on V. Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on shares of Visa from $160.00 to $177.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 21st. Robert W. Baird set a $182.00 price target on shares of Visa and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 8th. Nomura lifted their price target on shares of Visa from $175.00 to $178.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Visa to $214.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Visa from $146.00 to $183.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-four have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $178.17.

NYSE V traded up $0.31 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $169.66. 4,999,903 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,732,639. Visa has a one year low of $121.60 and a one year high of $172.20. The company has a market capitalization of $338.03 billion, a PE ratio of 36.80, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a quick ratio of 1.62, a current ratio of 1.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58.

Visa (NYSE:V) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The credit-card processor reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.07. Visa had a net margin of 51.34% and a return on equity of 40.56%. The business had revenue of $5.49 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.46 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.11 earnings per share. Visa’s quarterly revenue was up 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Visa will post 5.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP William M. Sheedy sold 75,676 shares of Visa stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.24, for a total transaction of $12,504,702.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 300,114 shares in the company, valued at $49,590,837.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Brand Asset Management Group Inc. purchased a new position in Visa in the first quarter valued at about $26,000. Guidant Wealth Advisors boosted its stake in Visa by 94.0% in the first quarter. Guidant Wealth Advisors now owns 194 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 94 shares during the last quarter. Investors Research Corp purchased a new position in Visa in the first quarter valued at about $31,000. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Visa in the fourth quarter valued at about $33,000. Finally, Private Ocean LLC purchased a new position in Visa in the first quarter valued at about $35,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.04% of the company’s stock.

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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