Visa Inc. (V) shares popped on Friday, closing in on its all-time high after a positive analyst day and a series of analyst price target adjustments. Visa has already had a terrific 2017, up around 23 percent. But things could still continue to get better for the payment processor. Visa stands to benefit from the continuation of people shifting payment methods from cash to credit and debit, and most notably to mobile, making the stock a long-term investment play.
Shares of Visa trade at 24 times 2018 analyst EPS estimates, but there could be plenty of room for the stock to rise even further. The increase will be driven mostly by top-line revenue growth, which will likely lead to further multiple expansion.
Analysts are looking for revenues to rise by nearly 45 percent to $21.81 billion by 2019, while EPS is expected to grow by 83 percent to $4.55.
These expected growth rates likely mean that the stock has further room to rise, because even at 24 times 2018 EPS estimates, Visa stock is trading only at the upper end of its historical forward P/E at 24.
A perfect reason why Visa can trade with a relatively stable valuation is due to its ability to consistently grow revenue at around 10 percent over the past several years.
So where can Visa trade to in the future? Just looking at Visa's historical multiple and its ability to offer consistent growth rates, it is hard to say that a 24 multiple for forward earnings power isn't unjustified going into the future. On 2019 estimates of $4.55 at just 24 times earnings, we arrive at a price of $110, a near 14 percent increase from current levels.
The stock has traded historically near 11 times forward sales as well, giving the company a valuation of around $240 billion, or $104 based on 2019 revenue estimates of $21.81 billion. (See also: Why Visa Is a Tech Stock.)
These valuations are assuming no multiple expansion and just using expectations for future growth. Multiple expansion is likely to come in two forms. The first is from further gains in the equity market, with Visa shares likely keeping pace with a rising equity market. The second area for multiple expansion could come from a bullish outlook if investors begin to see signs of Visa gaining more traction in the mobile payment space or additional developments in its credit/debit card network.
Visa presents an exciting long-term opportunity for people who are patient and are looking for consistent top-line revenue growth. Electronic payments are likely only in the middle innings of growth and are likely to continue to grow for many more years to come.
Michael Kramer and the clients of Mott Capital Management LLC own shares of Visa.
Michael Kramer is the Founder and Portfolio Manager of Mott Capital Management LLC, a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Upon request, the advisor will provide a list of all recommendation made during the past twelve months. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.