Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Visa (NYSE:V): Upgraded at Piper and Morgan Keegan

Two firms are upgrading Visa (NYSE:V) today:

- Piper Jaffray upgrades V to Buy saying they believe this very high-quality franchise should be oninvestors' short list of stocks to own through this economic cycle. Firm is comfortable with Visa's earnings power through this cycle and over the long-term, despite financial/economic uncertainty in the markets and dollar strength; Visa's intrinsic value will continue to grow at a very attractive rate for many years to come.

Pullback in the share price, even with yesterday's recovery, has greatly improved the risk/reward, in our view, creating an attractive entry point for long-term investors; shares trading at 21x calendar '09 est. of $2.76.

Buffers against economic slowdown: debit (35% of pay. vol), non-U.S. & non-Europe pay. vol, new products, margin expansion on scale, op. leverage. Reducing fiscal '09/'10 EPS estimates from $2.77/$3.26 to $2.66/$3.22 on slower payments volume growth forecast.

Tgt is lowered to $72 from $81.

- Morgan Keegan upgrades V to Outperform noting the shares are down (36%) from highs on concern over economic sensitivity and technical selling pressures; Street 2009 op. EPS Consensus of $2.77 likely to be lower over coming weeks & technical factors could continue to weigh on stock.

They are modestly lowering 2008 & 2009 op. EPS to $2.19 (vs. $2.20 prev.) and $2.68 (vs. $2.76 prev.), factoring in softer global economic environment, currency headwinds, offset by positive pricing, and cost controls

Shares attractively valued at under 21x CY:09 op. EPS; Despite likelihood that US volumes have not yet bottomed & sequential card growth to remain negative in near-term – Morgan Keegan believes the long-term franchise value is highly attractive at current levels;

Notablecalls: Both are valuation calls. I see the stock hitting $62-63 today on these upgrades, if market holds up OK. Note that MoKe is upgrading MA as well on valuation basis.

1 comment:

Pankaj said...

21X 09EPS.. There are tons of quality plays trading much cheaper, heck less than 5X 09EPS... If credit crunch is the main issue why markets sold off, the plastic transactions will take a hit for sure... Good information but my take is stay away from V for now.. Thanks NC for your blogposts as always..