Visa Inc. (V) is currently making waves among analysts due to the news that it may soon acquire Visa Europe, and the opinion is split as to whether this acquisition is a good thing for the company. Stone Fox Capital believes the news is not very exciting for the company, while Ashvin Moorjani argues that the acquisition is costly but could be effective, and Josh Arnold takes a very bullish view of the merger. The possibility of the merger is certainly a consideration which should be taken into account before investing in the company and may attract investors.
That said, Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, taught that the most important aspect to consider is whether the company is trading at a discount relative to its intrinsic value. It is through a thorough fundamental analysis that the investor is able to determine a potential investment’s merits. Here’s an updated look at how Visa fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.
This model is inspired by the teachings of Benjamin Graham and considers numerous metrics intended to help the investor reduce risk levels. The first part of the analysis is to determine whether the company is suitable for the very conservative Defensive Investor or the less conservative Enterprising Investor, who is willing to spend a greater amount of time conducting further research.
In addition, Graham strongly suggested that investors avoid speculation in order to remove the subjective elements of emotion. This is best achieved by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another. By using the ModernGraham method, one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.
V data by YCharts
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Defensive Investor – Must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 2/7
- Adequate Size of Enterprise – Market capitalization of at least $2 billion – PASS
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – Current ratio greater than 2 – FAIL
- Earnings Stability – Positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years – FAIL
- Dividend Record – Has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years – FAIL
- Earnings Growth – Earnings per share has increased by at least one-third over the last 10 years, using three-year averages at the beginning and end of the period – PASS
- Moderate PEmg (price over normalized earnings) ratio – PEmg is less than 20 – FAIL
- Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 – FAIL
Enterprising Investor – Must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for a Defensive Investor: Score = 5/5
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – Current ratio greater than 1.5 – PASS
- Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt-to-Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 – PASS
- Earnings Stability – Positive earnings per share for at least 5 years – PASS
- Dividend Record – Currently pays a dividend – PASS
- Earnings Growth – EPSmg greater than that 5 years ago – PASS
|MG Opinion||Fairly Valued|
|Value Based on 3% Growth||$28.57|
|Value Based on 0% Growth||$16.75|
|Market Implied Growth Rate||13.42%|
|Net Current Asset Value (NCAV)||-$0.20|
Balance Sheet – March 2015
Earnings Per Share
Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham
V Dividend data by YCharts
Visa should satisfy the Enterprising Investor but not the Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned by the company’s short history as a publicly traded company, and the high PEmg and PB ratios, while the Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. Therefore, Enterprising Investors should feel very comfortable proceeding to the next part of the analysis, which is a determination of the company’s intrinsic value.
From a valuation side of things, the company has grown its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $0.87 in 2011 to an estimated $1.97 for 2015. This level of demonstrated growth is in line with the market’s implied estimate for earnings growth of 13.42% over the next 7-10 years.
The company’s recent earnings history shows an average annual growth in EPSmg of around 25%. The ModernGraham valuation model reduces such a rate to a more conservative figure, assuming some slowdown will occur, but still returns an estimate of intrinsic value falling within a margin of safety relative to the current price, indicating Visa is fairly valued at the present time.
Disclaimer: The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours. Logo taken from Wikipedia for the sole purpose of identifying the company; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.