Vantiv Inc. (NYSE:VNTVC), a credit card processor in the U.S. recently agreed to buy Britain's Worldpay for $10 billion. The move was expected to trigger more deals in the space. Payment companies like Worldpay have become acquisition targets for credit card companies and banks as consumers switch from cash to mobile payments.
The announcement caused shares of Worldpay to rise by nearly 28%. In conjunction with the announcement by Vantiv, U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPMD) indicated that it had shown preliminary interest in acquiring Worldpay but does not plan to make a rival bid.
Worldpay Up 28%
Following the announced acquisition, shares of Worldpay rose by almost 28%. Some of the movement was likely instigated by the concurrent news about JPMorgan’s interest in the company.
Analysts at Cowen said, "Given the current price, strategic rationale for Vantiv and lack of significant EPS (earnings per share) accretion we believe it is unlikely other suitors will emerge at this point."
The Attraction Of Payment Companies
Behind the Worldpay announcement lies a motivation by banks and credit card companies to develop and buy more sophisticated technology. This includes technology behind companies like PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPLC). Both Worldpay and PayPal have used their technology to gain a large market share of business created by consumers using online shopping and making cashless transactions.
According to analysts, Vantiv’s focus may be on Worldpay’s e-commerce business, especially the part that lies outside the U.S. Worldpay says it supports 400,000 merchants in 126 currencies across 146 countries.
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Cowen Reaffirms Vantiv At “Outperform”
Following the announcement, Cowen and Company announced that it had reaffirmed its “outperform” recommendation on Vantiv with a $69.00 price objective. Valuation of the company is $10.06 billion with a PE book ratio of 50.78 and a stock beta of 0.61. Vantiv has a 1-year low price of $52.45 and a 1-year high of $66.47.
Other analyst recommendations before the announcement were less optimistic. Zacks changed Vantiv from a “buy” to a “hold” in March. Credit Suisse Group reiterated its “buy” recommendation and put a price objective of $69, also in March. Atlantic Securities began coverage of Vantiv in April with an “overweight” recommendation and a $74.00 price target.
The consensus PT for Vantiv is $66.50, consensus rating among 23 analysts is “buy” with 13 rating the stock a “buy” and 10 rating it a “hold.”