After hours: 6:23PM EDT
|Bid||169.34 x 900|
|Ask||169.43 x 800|
|Day's Range||167.70 - 170.67|
|52 Week Range||121.60 - 172.20|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.86|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||34.98|
|Earnings Date||Jul 23, 2019 - Jul 29, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.00 (0.62%)|
|1y Target Est||181.49|
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. made a renewed push into payments on Tuesday, announcing plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra.Read More: Facebook Wants Its Cryptocurrency to One Day Rival the GreenbackIt will be governed by the Libra Association, a group of companies that will have an equal say in how the cryptocurrency is managed. Almost 30 firms have joined and Facebook hopes another 70 or more will enter the fold in the future.Read Facebook’s Project Libra white paper hereWho’s In:Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., the world’s largest payments networks, as well as PayPal Holdings Inc. are on board. For Visa and Mastercard, it’s a chance to offer the world of cryptocurrencies the same services they provide in card payments. All three companies know the challenges of building a network and can offer expertise in encouraging consumers to use the instrument and cajoling merchants into accepting it.Companies such as Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., and Spotify Technology SA keep millions of credit cards on file, and they risk losing customers when people get a new card or number. E-commerce firms also pay higher “card not present” rates when processing payments, so anything that can reduce these expenses is welcome.“Libra has the potential to bridge the gap between traditional financial networks and new digital currency technology, while reducing the costs for everyone,” said Peter Hazlehurst, head of payments at Uber.International companies, including e-commerce firm MercadoLibre Inc. and telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc, signed onto Libra, too. Blockchain technology and stablecoins are potential solutions for the messy world of cross-border payments, which suffers from delays and high costs.Who’s Out:Large banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., already have their own payments businesses that reap billions of dollars in fees. With regulators still deciding how to treat cryptocurrencies, banks and investment firms are treading cautiously.So far, no large brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target Corp. and Walmart Inc., are taking part. The industry is always interested in lowering the cost of accepting payments, but traditional merchants have historically been hesitant to accept cryptocurrencies due to volatility and lack of consumer adoption.The largest U.S. technology companies, Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc., are noticeably absent. Many of these firms have their own digital payments businesses and some are experimenting with blockchain technology. Apple has poured scorn on Facebook for repeated privacy missteps and other big tech firms are trying to avoid being associated with the social-media giant.“This is very early -- 27 organizations right now, 100 by the time we launch,” David Marcus, head of the Facebook blockchain team that’s spearheading the project, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “And by that time, I definitely expect to see banks in there, I definitely expect to see other large technology companies and I definitely expect to see more diversity of organizations in terms of geographical distribution.”Square Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a cryptocurrency fan, but even his firm isn’t part of Libra at launch. Square’s cryptocurrency team made its first hire last week and it’s Cash App is a popular way for consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin.Here’s the full list of founding members and partners:Andreessen Horowitz Anchorage Bison Trails Booking Holdings Inc.Breakthrough Initiatives Facebook’s CalibraCoinbase Inc.EBay Inc. Farfetch Ltd.Iliad SA’s Free Lyft Inc.Mastercard MercadoLibre Inc.’s Mercado Pago PayPal Naspers Ltd.’s PayURibbit Capital Spotify Technology SAStripe Inc.Thrive Capital Union Square Ventures Uber Visa Vodafone Group Xapo Creative Destruction Lab Kiva Mercy Corps Women’s World Banking (Updates with comment from Facebook’s David Marcus in 10th paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected Creative Destruction’s name.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jenny Surane in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.com;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- If Facebook Inc.’s new digital currency goes according to plan, it could one day compete with payment giants Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. But for now, all three are set to work with the social-media company on the venture.The currency, called Libra, will launch as soon as next year. It’s what’s known as a stablecoin, one that can avoid massive fluctuations in value so it can be used for everyday transactions. Industry experts and insiders say the payments companies want a seat at the table to help shape the new currency.Read Facebook’s Project Libra white paper here“It’s not unusual for the incumbents -- Visa, Mastercard, PayPal -- to partner with a disruptor,” Harshita Rawat, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in an interview. “They would at least want to participate in how this product is being developed.”New payment methods such as Apple Pay and other mobile wallets are often slow to take off, so any competition is likely to be years away. Still, the earlier payments companies come to the project, the more time they have to ensure their businesses don’t suffer.None of these companies has been shy about pursuing collaboration or other strategic opportunities. PayPal alone has spent billions of dollars buying or investing in potential partnerships as well as competitors. While PayPal hasn’t ventured into cryptocurrencies before, it was a proponent of the blockchain technology that will be used to build Libra.Visa and Mastercard are always looking to embed themselves in emerging payment forms. Both have developed partnerships with cryptocurrency and blockchain firms. They’ve said that Libra can help more people gain access to financial products.“We think cryptocurrencies can address use cases that are not really well served today,” such as areas where cash-based payments remain prominent, said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president of digital solutions at Mastercard. “As such we think it will be incremental to what we do and not a replacement of it.”The payment companies are part of the Libra Association, giving them a say in how the cryptocurrency is managed. There’s currently no time commitment, so members can leave at any time. Once the group’s charter is finalized, there will be a minimum time commitment, according to some members of the group who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.“My sense is that they will try their best to partner and engage with Facebook,” Rawat said. “If Facebook takes the angle that they want to disintermediate card payments, then I think they may not want to participate.”Facebook shares rose 1.4% to $191.61 as of 11:12 a.m. in New York after announcing the cryptocurrency venture.(Updates with shares in final paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jenny Surane in New York at email@example.com;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at email@example.com, Dan Reichl, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook has unveiled Libra, a new type of money that could eventually become the world’s first widely used cryptocurrency.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. unveiled plans for a new, global financial system with a broad group of partners from Visa Inc. to Uber Technologies Inc. on board to create a cryptocurrency it expects will one day trade much like the U.S. dollar and inject a new source of revenue.Called Libra, the new currency will launch as soon as next year and be what's known as a stablecoin–a digital currency that's supported by established government-backed currencies and securities. The goal is to avoid massive fluctuations in value so Libra can be used for everyday transactions across Facebook in a way that more volatile cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, haven’t been. The project is the culmination of a year-long effort as Facebook seeks to spur growth on its various platforms that already count more than 2 billion users. But it will also likely face skepticism–from regulators who already think Facebook has too much power and plays loose with digital privacy, and from those that are dubious of cryptocurrencies, which are known more for speculative investments and blackmarket commerce than for legitimate financial transactions.Read Facebook's white paper on Project Libra here.If successful, Libra could make Facebook a much bigger player in financial services. Cryptocurrency firms have been trying to build cross-border, digital currencies on the blockchain to disrupt traditional banking and payments for a decade, but nothing has caught on at the scale of traditional money yet.Facebook, which announced the project with 27 partners, is already under wide-ranging regulatory scrutiny over how it handles users’ private data. Growth of its main platform has plateaued in some major markets and crypto payments would be a way to turn messaging – across WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram -- into a business that complements its advertising operation, which generates almost all of its revenue. Facebook shares gained early Tuesday as analysts saw the move as a potentially major new profit stream. “We view Facebook’s introduction of the Libra currency as a potential watershed moment for the company and global adoption of crypto,” wrote Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who has an outperform rating and $250 price target on Facebook shares. “In terms of scale and importance, we believe this new financial infrastructure could be viewed similar to Apple’s introduction of iOS to developers over a decade ago.”Still, the announcement was met immediately with political opposition in Europe, with calls for tighter regulation of the company. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Libra shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for traditional currencies and called on the Group of Seven central bank governors to prepare a report on the project for their July meeting.“It is out of question’’ that Libra “become a sovereign currency,’’ Le Maire said in an interview on Europe 1 radio. “It can’t and it must not happen.”Read More: Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Project: Who’s In and Who’s OutFacebook Could Be for Crypto What AOL Was for Internet Adoption Crypto Chiefs Novogratz, Allaire Say Facebook Coin Bullish SignFacebook Rallies as Analysts Praise 'Watershed' Crypto Move France Calls for Central Bank Review of Facebook CryptocurrencyTo come anywhere close to matching the U.S. dollar for utility and acceptance, Libra will need to be widely trusted. So Facebook and its partners are mimicking how other currencies have been introduced in the past.“To help instill trust in a new currency and gain widespread adoption during its infancy, it was guaranteed that a country’s notes could be traded in for real assets, such as gold,” the companies wrote in a white paper. “Instead of backing Libra with gold, though, it will be backed by a collection of low-volatility assets, such as bank deposits and short-term government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks."The total number of Libra can change, and new digital coins can be issued whenever someone wants to exchange their Libra for an existing fiat currency, so the price shouldn’t fluctuate any more than other stable currencies, according to David Marcus, head of the Facebook blockchain team that’s spearheading the project.“It would make a scenario where there’s a run on the bank completely impossible, because we are backed one-for-one,” he said. Libra will also be audited, he added, an important step in an industry with limited transparency.Facebook has closely guarded its crypto plans for more than a year, though many of the details have already been reported by Bloomberg News and other outlets.Read about how Marcus tapped PayPal talent to build Facebook’s blockchain team.Marcus, who used to run Facebook Messenger, said Facebook plans to build a new digital wallet that will exist inside Messenger and its other standalone messaging service, WhatsApp. Once Libra is up and running, the currency and the digital wallet should make it easier for people to send money to friends, family and businesses through the apps. Libra will run on the so-called blockchain, a database that can use millions of computers to verify transactions, eliminating risks that come with information being held centrally by a single entity. Facebook created a new subsidiary, called Calibra, to build the new wallet and focus on the company’s blockchain efforts.Facebook's track record in payments and commerce has been spotty. A few years ago, it began letting people buy flowers or hail an Uber through its Messenger service. Those features have not been huge hits. In 2010, it began offering Facebook Credits, a way to buy virtual goods inside Facebook games. But in 2012 it scrapped Credits, and in 2013 it started working with third-party services like PayPal process some payments. Facebook's revenue from "payments and other service" was less than 2% of total sales in 2018. When it finally arrives, Libra will be late to a party that’s been going on so long, many of the party-goers have either left or collapsed. Some past attempts to make coins usable for commerce, such as Bitcoin, haven’t widely caught on yet because price volatility mainly attracted traders and speculators. Predecessor stablecoins, like Tether, have been used by some traders to park funds in during times of high volatility, but have not been broadly adopted for commerce.Read more about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s early plans for cryptocurrency. U.S. regulations may represent another hurdle for Facebook. Creating a digital currency doesn’t just require buy-in from financial institutions who need to accept it, and consumers who need to trust it, but it requires approval from regulators, too. The Securities and Exchange Commission has shut down about a dozen businesses issuing their own tokens for violations of securities law. Marcus said Facebook has been in contact with regulators and central banks, but added that the company hasn’t received a “no-action” letter from the SEC yet. That would have safeguarded the project from regulatory action by the agency.One way Facebook hopes to appease regulators is through the Libra Association, a governing body tasked with making decisions about Libra. Firms including Visa and PayPal Holdings Inc. are part of the group. Marcus described these members as “co-founders,” and said they will have an equal say in how the cryptocurrency is managed.“Facebook will not have any special privilege or special voting rights at the association level,” said Marcus, the former president of PayPal. “We will have competitors and other players on top of this platform that will build competing wallets and services.”All Libra Association members are putting a minimum of $10 million into a reserve to help support the cryptocurrency’s value. This buy-in comes with voting privileges. However, the association’s governance structure is still in flux, and most of the group’s crucial decisions, including the creation of its charter, have not yet been decided, according to several members of the group. They asked not to be identified discussing private details.“Facebook will not have any special privilege”Libra’s timing could also pose challenges. Facebook is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s privacy practices. Some have called for the company to be broken up, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Asking consumers to put more trust in the social media giant, and giving Facebook a strong entry into the world of digital payments and banking, will likely draw further criticism.Opinion: Crypto-evangelists hoped digital currencies would challenge Big Tech’s data control. Zuckerberg has other plans.The company plans to keep financial data gathered from Libra users separate from Facebook user data. That’s why Facebook’s digital wallet will exist under the Calibra subsidiary, which will house user transaction data on separate servers, Marcus said. If a WhatsApp user uses her Calibra wallet to send money to a friend or pay a retailer, those interactions won’t be stored alongside her social-media profile.“There’s a clear distinction between Calibra and what Calibra has access to, and what Facebook Inc. has access to,” Marcus said. “It’s very clear that people don’t want their financial data from an account to be comingled with social data or to be used for other purposes.”(Updates with analyst comment, French finance minister, and shares.)\--With assistance from Jennifer Surane.To contact the authors of this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgOlga Kharif in Portland at email@example.comJulie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Visa (NYSE:V) is up more than 25% over the past year, stoked in part by Federal Reserve rate hikes of 2018 that have translated into higher profit margins for credit card companies. The overall fundamental strength of the company has also been the catalyst behind the Visa stock returns.Source: Kārlis Dambrāns via FlickrThe world's largest retail electronic payments network, Visa, is expected to report earnings in late July. There could be some volatility and profit-taking in Visa in the coming weeks, especially as many other financial services firms also report in July.However, I'd encourage long-term investors who would like exposure to the sector to regard any dip in the share price as an opportunity to add Visa stock to their portfolio.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today Long-Term Visa Stock StrengthsRobust Fundamental Numbers: Visa is a quality blue-chip company with a $370 billion market cap. Since going public in 2008, Visa has rewarded shareholders continuously.The group does not issue credit cards or lend money. Instead, the company operates as an "intermediary," charging a fee on each of the 150 million transactions its network handles every day.Visa has three sources of revenue: * Service revenues (for services provided to card issuers for the use of Visa products); * Data processing revenues (fees Visa collects for the authorization, settlement, or clearing); and * International transaction revenues (for cross-border and currency conversion transactions).On April 24, Visa posted better than expected results for Q2 2019. Revenue for the quarter ending March 31 was $5.5 billion, an 8% growth year-over-year (YoY).Earnings per share (EPS) also increased to $1.31, a 17% YoY increase. As a result of robust growth in payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions, the company also increased its outlook for the year.As one of the major credit and debit card processors, Visa has strong pricing power and a good profit margin that stands at over 54%. Visa's leadership position in the industry requires financial flexibility so that the management can continue the growth-centric steps. Its current ratio, which measures Visa's ability to pay off short-term liabilities with its current assets, is a healthy 1.6, compared to the industry average of 2.4.In fact, Visa and its long-time archrival Mastercard (NYSE:MA) can be said to have a duopoly in the cards network sector. Both companies collect transaction fees for without bearing credit risk and control a majority of the digital payment infrastructure. And there does not seem to be much threat to the dominance of either company.Visa's sales numbers are forecast to grow over 10% in 2019 and 2020. Overall, Wall Street expects Visa's profitability, high margins, robust cash flow and healthy financial metrics to continue in the coming quarters, too -- a fact that should bring higher prices for V stock.Mobile Payments Space: Many of us have already paid for a purchase with our smartphones at least once as mobile payments are fast becoming a convenient and swift method to pay bills or make transfers. Analysts expect the global market to reach $4.5 trillion by 2023.The most widely used transaction methods include contactless payments without entering the credit card PIN number at the point-of-sale or using a smartphone to pay a merchant or even a person such as a friend or family member, i.e., peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.If you are looking at ways to benefit from this trend, Visa may be a solid company to consider. It's been boosting its mobile payment offerings. As early as 2011, the group took a stake in Square (NYSE:SQ), the San Francisco-based credit card processing fintech, which was founded in 2009. There are rumors that Visa may end up acquiring Square.Its other strategic investments include Stripe and Marqeta as well as It's currently bidding to buy Earthport,a British payments company, that facilitates money transfer services across borders.Over the past decade, smartphones have become a part of our daily lives and it would not be wrong to expect mobile payments to enter our daily lives in a big way. In other words, as more consumers tap to pay or download an app to transfer money, Visa investors are likely to reap the rewards. What Could Derail Visa Stock?Short-term Technical Analysis and Price Charts: Year-to-date, Visa is up 28%. So, in the next few weeks, there might be some profit taking. As a result of the recent impressive run-up in the stock price, short-term technical indicators have become somewhat over-extended. Investors who pay attention to short-term oscillators should note that Visa's technical message has also become "overbought."Leading up to its earnings report in late July, Visa stock could trade sideways for several weeks and even have a pullback toward the low-$160's or even mid-$150's level, where the stock is likely to find major support.Visa stock's beta is 0.98, which means its volatility on average mimics that of the broader market. Therefore if the industry or the broader market declines as the companies release earnings, Visa may also be adversely affected.Investors may consider waiting on the sidelines if they do not currently have any positions open in these tech stocks.If you already own Visa shares, you might want to hold your position. That said, if you are worried about short-term profit taking, then within the parameters of your portfolio allocation and risk/return profile, you may consider placing a stop loss at about 3-5% below the current price point, to protect your profits to date.Current shareholders may also consider hedging their positions. As for hedging strategies, covered calls or put spreads with July 19 expiry could be appropriate as straight put purchases are likely to be expensive due to heightened volatility.I would not advocate bottom-picking in case of near-term price weakness. Yet, I find Visa stock to be a compelling buy candidate and by the end of 2020, I'd expect the shares to reach $180.Competition in the Mobile Payment Payments Space: The fintech revolution is evolving and the entire payments industry is growing fast. In addition to Visa, several other U.S. companies are leading the mobile-payment race that requires cutting-edge technology. In October 2014, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced Apple Pay which has now become one of the dominant digital payment apps in the U.S.In the P2P space, investors love PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) which owns the popular Venmo app. The app has over 25 million users and is ahead of its closest competitors -- Apple's Pay Cash, Square's Cash App, and Zelle, which is owned by Early Warning Services, a private fintech company.If there are mixed earnings reports or important news from Visa's competitors hit the wires, there may be short-term volatility or decline in the stock. For example, if any of Visa peers were to issue an earnings warning, due to a potential slowdown in consumer spending in the U.S. or globally, then Visa shares could also be adversely affected in the near-term.However, Visa is a solid company with continued growth prospects in mobile payments. Therefore small price dips on daily headlines should not keep long-term investors up at night.In general, whenever Visa stock price has a correction, such as the one it experienced in late 2018, the shares come back rather quickly, only to make a new high in several months. Bottom Line on Visa StockVisa stock is a fundamentally sound stalwart investment with further growth prospects, profitability, leadership in the respective market, stability, and proactive management -- factors that are likely to translate into a strong balance sheet and robust bottom line in the rest of the decade.There are two important secular trends currently affecting the payments sector in the U.S. as well as many other countries, i.e., payment transactions are increasingly moving to mobile and digital payments are surpassing cash payments. As the industry is growing and being transformed, Visa stock may indeed provide a solid long-term investment for many shareholders.Investors who are interested in financial services, but do not want to commit all their capital to a single stock such as Visa may also consider investing in various exchange-traded Funds (ETFs) that have Visa as a holding, including iShares U.S. Financial Services ETF (NYSEARCA:IYG), ISE Mobile Payments ETF (NYSEARCA:IPAY), or Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:VGT).As of this writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * The 7 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today * 4 Semiconductor Stocks to Sell Compare Brokers The post There Are Really No Good Reasons to Keep Laying off Visa Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Could Libra, the Facebook-led cryptocurrency finally announced today, disrupt Visa and Mastercard? On the surface, it sounds like the world’s dominant payment networks are in the crosshairs: The Libra Association, the non-profit, Facebook-led group of organizations behind the cryptocurrency, says it hopes to “create more access to better, cheaper, and open financial services.” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said sending money should be as easy to sending a photo. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, however, are charter members of the Libra Association.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Facebook Inc.’s planned cryptocurrency is going to need more friends to work.On Tuesday, the social media giant announced it had signed up 27 partners to develop and administer Libra, a digital medium of exchange for use on its apps and beyond. Uber Technologies Inc., Spotify Inc., Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are all taking part – but there’s a notable absence of banks, large retailers and consumer goods companies, whose massive marketing budgets are the staple of ad agencies worldwide.This matters because Facebook is, above all else, an advertising platform. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has to prove that Libra will deliver more value to brands than their current advertising setup. Judging by this initial list of partners, a lot of firms appear unconvinced. The company wants to sign up a total of 100 by the time the coin starts next year. It will need every one of them, and more.For Zuckerberg, the best possible outcome is that the coin, which is tied to a basket of foreign currencies, keeps both users and brands locked into the Menlo Park, California-based firm’s ecosystem.In theory, a user might receive a token for watching an ad, which they then spend on something they have also seen advertised on Facebook. The company selling the product could then use that token to buy more ad space on the social network, and so the cycle would start anew. That would mean that, even if Zuckerberg had to spend a little bit more to keep his users engaged, the money would ultimately flow back into his company’s coffers.For brands, the big question is just how much data from that process will Facebook be willing to share? You can see why companies might be wary about signing up on day one. Facebook and its family of apps – Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger – are already something of a walled garden when it comes to advertisers. They regularly complain that they have little visibility over what they call the journey of their customers: What ads did customers see before making a purchase or clicking through to a website? That anonymized data allows them to gauge whether an approach works or not.Many purchases happen on brands’ own websites right now, which is a problem for Facebook, since it doesn’t know itself when a user has decided to buy something. Knowing what exactly prompts a purchase would help the company target future ad campaigns more effectively. Starting its own digital wallet – Calibra – should allow it to plug that gap by inserting itself into the middle of consumers’ transactions. Facebook has said that it won’t use financial data to target ads, but the wallet will nonetheless surely be optimized to execute purchases from within one of its platforms.The model here is Amazon.com Inc. The e-commerce giant knows almost every stage of an online shopper’s journey to purchasing an item, allowing it to target them with precision. That’s a threat to both Facebook and Google’s advertising models, and goes a long way to explaining why Zuckerberg is so keen to make friends. To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
SINGAPORE, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced new analysis showing Visa Advanced Authorization (VAA) using artificial intelligence (AI) helped financial institutions prevent an estimated $25 billion in annual fraud making the global payment ecosystem safer for retailers and consumers.[i] VAA is a comprehensive risk management tool that monitors and evaluates transaction authorizations on the Visa global payment network, VisaNet, in real time to help financial institutions promptly identify and respond to emerging fraud patterns and trends. Visa processed more than 127 billion transactions between merchants and financial institutions on VisaNet last year, and employed AI to analyze 100 percent of the transactions - each in about one millisecond - so financial institutions can approve legitimate purchases while quickly identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions.
CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday that Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB )'s reported plans for a cryptocurrency are a reason for investors to back the social media stock . If the coin launch goes ahead as expected ...
Visa (NYSE:V) today announced global adoption of its sensory branding suite in 25 countries via more than a dozen new partnerships. The suite is comprised of sound, animation and haptic brand cues that occur with a Visa payment transaction. In a digital world increasingly filled with voice-commands, networked appliances and unattended retail environments, Visa’s sensory branding cues offer new ways to enhance the customer experience and convey the trust and security that the Visa brand represents.
Facebook has reportedly signed up more than a dozen partners to help fund and manage its new cryptocurrency, which it plans to publicly unveil this week.
What does an investor do with an opportunity like Visa (NYSE:V)? The Visa stock price continues to stay elevated, at over 27-times forward earnings. Of the 40 largest U.S.-listed stocks by market capitalization, only Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and rival Mastercard (NYSE:MA) sport higher valuations.Source: Shutterstock And yet V stock certainly seems to merit a premium valuation. Few large-capitalization stocks can match its near-term growth prospects. Long-term opportunities come in several forms: lower use of cash worldwide, international expansion, and a move into business-to-business (B2B) offerings.Does an investor follow the Warren Buffett maxim that it's "far better to own a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price," as I argued back in 2017? Or does valuation matter, particularly in a bull market seemingly running on fumes?InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFor now, Visa stock seems a worthwhile bet. But investors probably have to temper their expectations. The next decade is not going to look like the last one. The Incredible Rise in the Visa Stock PriceLooking backwards, investors certainly missed a huge opportunity in Visa stock. Over the past ten years, shares have returned 953%, not including an admittedly modest dividend. Those gains haven't come just because of the bull market either. In 2009, the company earned 81 cents per share (adjusting for the company's 2015 stock split). A decade ago, the stock (again, on a split-adjusted basis) traded for $16-plus, implying a P/E multiple right at 20x. * 10 Stocks to Buy That Wall Street Expects to Soar for the Rest of 2019 Relative to 2019 expectations, the multiple now sits at 31x. And there are two ways to look at that expansion. The first is that the incredible gains in the Visa stock price are coming mostly from higher earnings. Based on the Street's expectations for 2019, V should climb nearly 500% from 2009 levels.The second, however, is a more difficult question: can the multiples assigned V stock really go much higher? This is a much larger company, which makes percentage growth more difficult to achieve. Yet investors now are paying 50%-plus more for the same dollar of earnings. As impressive as Visa's opportunities are, it's tough to argue that its growth potential is better now than it was a decade ago.Obviously, the market today is in much better shape than in June 2009, when it was just three months removed from financial crisis lows. But that's kind of the point: Visa's earnings multiples can't expand much more without the broad market moving higher.In that scenario, earnings growth still can drive returns -- again, profits are expected to rise 15%-plus in 2020. But roughly 16% annual returns (including the dividend) might seem disappointing in the context of the recent performance. Is V Stock the Best Play?As incredible as the performance of Visa stock seems, there's something more incredible: Mastercard. Visa has returned nearly 1,000% in a decade, yet V shares have underperformed their rival over that span. In fact, MA has been the better pick over one, three, and five-year periods as well. Its 10-year return is a staggering 1,460%.At the moment, MA actually is slightly more expensive on an earnings basis than V stock. Mastercard has greater exposure to non-U.S. payments, and thus, at least in theory, more room for growth. And while past performance doesn't guarantee future performance, the better returns from Mastercard shares are at least worth considering.Of course, Visa and Mastercard aren't the only two stocks in the space, either. Will Healy this month highlighted a potential opportunity in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), which trades at a substantial discount to both V and MA despite significant potential risk in China. American Express (NYSE:AXP) has been an inconsistent performer, but offers value as well.The stories of the four stocks aren't the same; at the moment, it's foolish to argue that DFS or AXP should be treated like their rivals. But when considering V stock at these multiples, investors should at least keep an open mind toward other stocks in the space. Visa Looks Good, but Not GreatAt the least, the next decade for the Visa stock price is not going to look like the last decade. That's probably not surprising: a repeat of the 950%-plus gains would give Visa a market cap of some $4 trillion.But performance could be good -- and still far short of the standard Visa has set. Bear in mind that if V stock appreciated at 10.5% a year for the next decade, it would reach a $1 trillion market cap ten years from now. Maybe that's not unrealistic in a world where credit-card usage continues to rise. Plus, Visa's efforts in cross-border payments and B2B could bear fruit.Still, $1 trillion does seem like a big ask for returns that almost seem middling given the torrid performance of payment companies of late. And it shows the difficulty in Visa stock here. There's a path to a $1 trillion valuation, which is the good news. But whether 10%-plus a year is good enough for investors depends on their view of the markets and the competition.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 10 Stocks to Buy That Wall Street Expects to Soar for the Rest of 2019 * 7 Value Stocks That Are Flying Under the Radar * 6 Mouth-Watering Fast Food Stocks for Growth Investors Compare Brokers The post Visa Stock Remains a Buy, But Expectations Need to Be Lowered appeared first on InvestorPlace.
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Investing.com - Cryptocurrencies traded higher for an eighth-consecutive session on Monday as Bitcoin breaks above $9,300.
Investing.com - Prices of the major cryptocurrencies were mixed on Monday in Asia, with Bitcoin trading above the $9,000 level.
American Express earns money from users through interest income and annual fees, as well as from merchants through payment processing.
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