Talking Numbers

Cramer: This stock is 'cheap'

Cramer: This stock is 'cheap'

Charge ahead!

That's what a couple of research teams are saying about Visa and MasterCard on Monday morning. Both Pacific Crest Securities and Baird upgraded their rating on the two credit card giants. Baird wrote this to investors Monday:

"We are upgrading MasterCard & Visa to Outperform as risk/reward has become more attractive, in our view. Key factors in our upgrade include the strong secular tailwinds in the business model, solid FCF [free cash flow] generation, our view that regulatory/competitive fears are overblown, and what we view as a compelling valuation. We see the recent pullback as a good opportunity to buy and view risk/reward as solid over the next year."

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For Visa, Baird assigned a $245-per-share price target, while for MasterCard Baird sees an eventual price of $83 per share.

While they both had a phenomenal run over the past five years (Visa gained 304 percent while MasterCard is up 403 percent), things haven't been so smooth for the two companies since the start of the year. Both are lower since their record highs in January.

"Visa and MasterCard are the two stocks that people have been really, really worried about," CNBC's Jim Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" Monday morning. "I like Visa here. It's down too much. MasterCard missed the quarter, but I think MasterCard is cheap."

MasterCard may be more reasonably priced, according to CNBC contributor Andrew Busch, editor and publisher of The Busch Update. Though he noted that two-thirds of the 34 analysts covering MasterCard rate it a "buy" and none rate it a sell, Busch said he sees MasterCard's and Visa's long-term prospects as dim because of competitive threats.

"I'm not sure that I like either one of them longer-term," said Busch. "The longer-term issue with these guys – both Visa and MasterCard – is the digital wallet and who's going to reign supreme there. They're going to compete not with each other but with Google [and] with Starbucks….I'm not that enthusiastic about [MasterCard] because I think those other companies will come to the digital wallet faster than them."

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Meanwhile, Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, is bearish on both Visa and MasterCard in the shorter term based on charting.

"There's a lot not to like about this stock," said Ross about MasterCard.

Looking at a nine-month chart of MasterCard, Ross said he sees the stock price recently breaking below the neckline of a head-and-shoulders pattern as well as its 200-day moving average.
"When we zoom out," said Ross, looking at a three year chart of MasterCard, "the story goes from bad to worse."

Ross's charts show that MasterCard has stayed in a well-defined upward-sloping trend line and above its 200-day moving average since 2011 until breaking below trend line earlier this year. "That's got to be a sell signal," said Ross.

"The stock is down 19 percent from its highs," he said. "We could get a little bounce along with the broader market... I say don't buy the first pullback on the heels of a five-year, 400 percent advance. You have to let this stock breathe here."

To see the full discussion on MasterCard, with Busch on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the video above.

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