Not overlooked, nor undervalued. This is not a case for value investors, but a perfect match for dividend growth investors. I purchased my first shares in the company on 2 December 2019 for USD 184.15 per share.
About the company:
Visa, Inc. is a global payments technology company working to enable consumers, businesses, banks and governments to use digital currency. Visa operates in a four party model, which includes card issuing financial institutions, acquirers and merchants. We are not a bank and do not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for account holders on Visa products (Source: Visa Inc. 10-K filing 2018).
Visa has a current market cap of USD 394 billion and is traded on NYSE. In the latest quarter released on 24 October 2019 the growth in underlying business drivers remained strong, primarly driven by growth in payment volumes and processed transactions. The company’s growth prospects are good in the coming years and the expected growth in EPS per share in 2020 is in the mid-teens.
The company benefits from the ongoing shift away from cash payments and over to digital payments. Digital payments continue to grow as a percentage of all payments world-wide and Visa is one of the key beneficiaries. Societies become more and more cashless and with an increasing standard of living the growth in years to come will be substantial.
Visa has increased its dividend since the IPO in 2008 making it a Dividend Contender. The current dividend yield is 0.65%, but the latest dividend hike was 20 % and it is expected that the dividend will increase by double digits in the coming years. Current pay-out ratio of ~20 % and strong growth in earnings per share will eventually materialise in future dividend hikes.
Both Visa and its closest peer, Mastercard Inc, has experienced a strong share price performance the past five years, with Mastercard leading the way. Because of the strong share price performance, the company trades at a premium relative to its historical multiples. During the past decade, the highest EV / EBITDA of Visa was 27, the lowest was 8.8 and the median was 17.1. The current EV / EBITDA is around 26. I believe the valuation is justified due to the strong track-record of the company
- When profitability is high in a industry with few competitors it attracts unwanted attention from others who want a piece of the action. New competition will press volume and margins down until the superprofit is gone. Cryptocurrencies and e.g. ApplePay has entered the market and tries to shift volumes from traditional payment methods to the digital sphere. This shift will in the years to come be faster and the continuous evolution of new technologies and business models may pose a risk to the company.
- Regulatory risk: Regulatory risk is the first risk factor presented by the company in their annual report and the increased focus on compliance, anti-money laundering and regulation may pose a threat to the company. Lack of competition in the industry (i.e. duopoly with MasterCard) may pose a risk to the company due to increased oversight and regulation of the global payments industry.
Disclaimer: I am long Visa Inc