- Visa continues to grow its revenues in spite of the strong dollar environment we currently are in. Robust revenue growth will return.
- Electronic spending growth will keep Visa growing. Payment paradigms are over-rated as Visa has the financials to keep investing.
- High barriers to entry and huge brand building initiatives would be needed for a competitor to seriously dent Visa's growth.
Visa (NYSE:V) may have cut its forward looking guidance recently but this has more to do with global economic weakness as opposed to the company's fundamentals. In fact, Visa still pulled in $1.7 billion in GAAP net earnings despite having to deal with worsening economic conditions in China and Brazil. Furthermore with the dollar index going from around the 80 mark in July 2014 to presently well over 94, Visa has still been able to grow on a constant dollar basis which many other US multinationals have been unable to do over the last 24 months or so. This is what investors need to understand. Even with the dollar index well over 90, Visa still expects to achieve revenue growth of around 8% for the full fiscal year taking into account the strength of the US dollar. I believe this could come in even better with 2017 then following with double digit growth levels.
Firstly and I have written about this in previous articles, I believe the bull market we have had in the dollar index since July 2014 is over. If we look at a weekly chart, we can see that the index is now making lower lows which almost always means lower highs are on the horizon. However an intermediate bottom in all probability was printed last week and intermediate cycles in this currency usually last about 20 weeks. This means we should see the dollar strengthening temporarily (bear market rally) but I don't envisage any new highs. In fact, I think the best it will do will be to touch the trend line I have drawn which would be around the 98 level but that should be where the index rolls over once more. Watch the weekly stochastics because when they are overbought, it usually is a signal of an impending daily cycle top
So what does this mean for Visa? Well, nominal payment volume growth is only averaging around 6% at the moment but expect this to get to double digits when the dollar starts to turn over in earnest. This is why the stock still isn't expensive with its current price to earnings ratio of 27+ and could easily trade with an earnings multiple north of 30 in the quarters and years to come.
Have a look at the fundamentals over the past 10 years. All crucial metrics have been rising despite having the headwind of the US dollar. Furthermore, what is also apparent is that all of these metrics have also been rising since 2014 which shows how resilient Visa has been in a strong dollar environment.
|Years Of Dividend Increases||8 Years - Pass|
|Free Cash Flow||$6.2 billion (10-Year Trend Is Up) - Pass (Very Important For Dividend Investors - Dividend Yield Currently Is 0.73%)|
|Revenues||$4.28 billion (10-Year Trend Is Up) - Pass|
|Operating Margins||65.7% - (10-Year Trend Is Up) - Pass|
|Price History of the stock||Up 377% in the last 10 years excluding dividends - Pass|
|Healthy balance sheet||Total assets = $54.5 billion (10-Year Trend Is Up) - Pass|
|Resistant to recessions?||Share Price hardly affected during the recession of 2008 - Pass|
One area that Visa will be undoubtedly focusing on in years to come will be technology and many analysts believe that the company will substantially increase its capital expenditure in this area to ensure it is providing the best solutions to its clients. Block-chain technology is one such area where Visa is ramping up its operations so it can compete with new digital payment systems like Bitcoin. Bears believe Visa could come under pressure in this area as new players come on board but one shouldn't underestimate the network effect Visa has plus the trusted brand it has among customers and merchants alike. Visa knows these threats are coming but the company has the balance sheet to act if necessary.
To sum up, I see Visa stock trading much higher from present levels despite the strong dollar environment we are presently in. The company continues to grow its revenues and as customers start to use more plastic for online activities, this will act as a strong tailwind for Visa. Furthermore, I believe that whatever payment paradigm is ushered in, in the future, Visa will have a piece of its technology which will be all it will need to keep its valuable network intact. Finally, the company is nicely hedged against a slow-down in the US with a weakening dollar which would boost revenues and definitely move to stock to over $90 a share in my opinion.