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>Perhaps it deserves a higher multiple due to their size.

Definitely you can rationalize higher multiples for VISA based on market dominance, business model, and expanding margins. Almost certainly the post-IPO market will award an initial premium multiple as it does for most every other truly dominant player.

The question is, in what is very definitely a bear market, which very probably will last at least a full year, how long will VISA or any other stock hold up against the "tide going out"--slow steady relentless indiscriminate selling as wave after wave of financial bad news sweeps the market.

On the other hand, VISA will be perceived as an island of quality, and flight-to-quality will certainly be one of the dynamics in 2008, especially among fund managers who HAVE to put cash SOMEWHERE... you know every fund will have to own it, and they have no doubt already subscribed their shares.

In this recession both credit and debit transactions will decline in number, therefore it's likely that this year's earnings will be unimpressive, though VISA's relentless margin expansion may blunt the effects of transaction declines. Nevertheless, it's a factor that will be lowering analyst forward estimates, and forward PE tolerance.

On balance, though, I feel like there ought to be at least 50,000 people each in the US, Japan, SE Asia, Australia, India, and Europe who will want 500 shares of VISA, and that would take care of 150 million shares right there. I rather think a few hundred mutual funds will gladly stash away the remaining 256 million shares for the next 30 years or so... well you can divide it up anyway you wish, but the point is there's no looming glut of shares here, and plenty of reason for many to snap them up for long holds--not flips.

Yeah I think I'll buy some.
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