Visa Inc (NYSE:V) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Visa's strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing efforts bode well for long-term growth. Its shares have gained 22% year to date outperforming the Zacks categorized Financial Transaction Services industry’s gain of 16%. Its inorganic story remains impressive with strategic buyouts. 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 in pursue growth initiatives. However, higher expenses. forex volatility, increased client incentives,  global economic uncertainty and legal headwinds remain concerns.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on V. Jefferies Group LLC set a $96.00 price objective on Visa and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, March 25th. Vetr downgraded Visa from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.75 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, February 16th. Citigroup Inc reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Visa in a research report on Thursday. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 price target (up from $95.00) on shares of Visa in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Visa in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Visa currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.38.

Analyst Recommendations for Visa (NYSE:V)

Visa (NYSE:V) traded down 0.01% during trading on Friday, hitting $95.03. 1,150,840 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $91.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $85.62. Visa has a 52-week low of $73.25 and a 52-week high of $95.38. The stock has a market cap of $219.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 47.42 and a beta of 1.00.

Visa (NYSE:V) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The credit-card processor reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.07. Visa had a return on equity of 26.48% and a net margin of 38.30%. The firm had revenue of $4.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.29 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.68 earnings per share. Visa’s quarterly revenue was up 23.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Visa will post $3.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Investors of record on Friday, May 19th will be issued a $0.165 dividend. This represents a $0.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.69%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 17th. Visa’s payout ratio is 26.09%.

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In related news, Vice Chairman Ellen Richey sold 31,260 shares of Visa stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.94, for a total value of $2,874,044.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.14% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Lombard Odier Transatlantic Limited Partnership boosted its stake in shares of Visa by 57.5% in the third quarter. Lombard Odier Transatlantic Limited Partnership now owns 1,260 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 460 shares during the period. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. boosted its stake 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 valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Iowa State Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Visa during the second quarter valued at approximately $111,000. West Oak Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Visa by 245.5% in the second quarter. West Oak Capital LLC now owns 1,534 shares of the credit-card processor’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 1,090 shares during the period. Finally, Ruggie Capital Group acquired a new stake in shares of Visa during the first quarter valued at approximately $114,000. 80.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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