Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $117.00 price target on the credit-card processor’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Visa have outperformed the industry, year to date. Numerous strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing have paved the way for the company's 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. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 1.8% upward over the last 60 days.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Vetr raised shares of Visa from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $100.12 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Instinet raised their target price on shares of Visa from $105.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $100.00 target price (up previously from $87.50) on shares of Visa in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $115.00 target price (up previously from $100.00) on shares of Visa in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Visa from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $106.42.

Shares of Visa (V) opened at 105.56 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $103.15 and its 200-day moving average is $95.55. The firm has a market cap of $241.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.26 and a beta of 0.94. Visa has a 52 week low of $75.17 and a 52 week high of $106.84.

Visa (NYSE:V) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The credit-card processor reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.05. Visa had a net margin of 36.53% and a return on equity of 30.95%. The company had revenue of $4.57 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.36 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 25.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Visa will post $3.43 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th were paid a $0.165 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.63%. Visa’s payout ratio is 24.54%.

In other Visa news, EVP Tullier Kelly Mahon sold 29,772 shares of the company’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 sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,360 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,751,797.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Mary B. Cranston sold 10,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.32, for a total transaction of $1,074,528.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.14% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. bought a new position in Visa during the second quarter valued at approximately $958,000. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. grew its holdings 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 worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Motco grew its holdings in shares of Visa by 25.1% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 1,176 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 236 shares during the last quarter. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC bought a new position in shares of Visa in the second quarter worth approximately $123,000. Finally, BDO Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Visa in the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. Institutional investors own 81.68% of the company’s stock.

About Visa

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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