Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Visa’s third-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings of $0.86 per share, beat estimates by 7.5% and grew 25% year-over-year. Results reflected solid payment volume growth, a double-digit increase in cross-border revenue and healthy operating metrics from every region. Shares of Visa have gained 29% year to date, outperforming the industry’s gain of 23%. This outperformance may have been driven by strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing that have paved the way for long-term growth. Visa is well poised to gain from the growing electronic payment processing and strong international business. A solid balance sheet position ensures effective capital deployment. However, higher expenses, forex volatility, increased client incentives, global economic uncertainty and legal headwinds remain concerns.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. upped their price target on shares of Visa from $100.00 to $106.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Instinet reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $105.00 price target (up from $103.00) on shares of Visa in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $104.00 price target on shares of Visa in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Vetr raised shares of Visa from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $95.32 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $100.00 price target on shares of Visa in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-five have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $104.35.

Shares of Visa (V) traded up 0.43% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $99.58. 1,152,133 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $227.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.03 and a beta of 0.93. Visa has a 12 month low of $75.17 and a 12 month high of $101.18. The company has a 50 day moving average of $95.97 and a 200 day moving average of $90.79.

Visa (NYSE:V) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The credit-card processor reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $4.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.36 billion. Visa had a net margin of 36.53% and a return on equity of 30.95%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 25.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.69 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Visa will post $3.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Visa declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, April 20th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the credit-card processor to buy up to 2.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be given a dividend of $0.165 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.67%. Visa’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 24.54%.

In other news, EVP Tullier Kelly Mahon sold 29,772 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.91, for a total transaction of $3,004,292.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 17,360 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,751,797.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.14% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. boosted its position in shares of Visa by 2.2% in the first quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 1,167 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Visa during the second quarter valued at approximately $122,000. SpiderRock Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Visa by 107.1% in the second quarter. SpiderRock Advisors LLC now owns 1,309 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 19,709 shares during the last quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Visa by 27.4% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,462 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 314 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Delta Asset Management LLC TN boosted its position in shares of Visa by 2.5% in the first quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 1,541 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.02% of the company’s stock.

Visa Company Profile

Visa Inc (Visa) is a payments technology company that connects consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners and government entities to electronic payments. The Company operates through payment services segment. The Company enables global commerce through the transfer of value and information among the participants.

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