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Pros Bullish On Visa, Even After It Hits a New High

Visa reported better-than-expected earnings Wednesday — and one “Fast Money” trader said the results were foreshadowed if you knew where to look.

“When you look across at what Mastercard had to say,” OptionMonster.com cofounder Pete Najarian said, it was clear that debit-card transactions and revenues were up — even though Mastercard had more exposure to the economically challenged European market.

“I still think Visa can compete with them anywhere in the world at this point in time, and because of that, my assumption was: If it’s good for Mastercard, it’s even better for Visa,” he said. “So far it’s working out that way.”

Najarian called the stock a “buy” in December, when Visa was ranked the No. 19 best-performing stock in the S&P 500.

Visa’s total operating revenue for the first fiscal quarter climbed 14 percent to $2.55 billion.

The stock hit an all-time high of $108.64 before slipping to close at $108.35, up 1.3 percent.

Tim Seymour of EmergingMoney.com sounded bullish on Visa for its growth outside the United States.

“The prepaid card business for them — especially in places like Africa, where people have no credit — is a huge business,” he said.

Seymour forecasted that the share of the company’s revenue from the U.S. would slip from its current 56 percent to below 50 percent as it grows globally.

“I think this is a great growth story. It’s been one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P for the last year,” he said. “So far, they show no reason to let up. I mean, they beat every time, and these guys aren’t necessarily soft-balling it in terms of their guidance.”

Shares of Mastercard, the No. 4 S&P stock in 2011, closed up 0.5 percent at $394.91. Earlier, it set a new 52-week high of $395.16.

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Trader disclosure: On Feb. 8, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Seymour is long AAPL; Seymour is long BAC; Seymour is long CSCO; Finerman is long AAPL; Finerman is long BAC; Finerman is long JPM; Finerman is long IBM; Finerman is long HPQ; Finerman is long NTAP; Finerman is long CMI and short calls; Najarian is long AAPL; Najarian is long BAC calls; Najarian is long C; Najarian is long JPM calls; Najarian is long MS; Najarian is long CSCO and long calls; Najarian is long YHOO; Najarian is long HPQ; Najarian is long WFM calls; Najarian is long V calls; Murphy is short WHR;

For Ron Insana
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For Karen Short
(WFM) BMO Capital Markets or an affiliate received compensation for products or services other than investment banking services within the past 12 months. This issuer is a client (or was a client) of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., BMO Capital Markets Corp., BMO CM Ltd. or an affiliate within the past 12 months: Non-Securities Related Services.

BMO Capital Markets makes a market in this security (WFM).

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