Visa Sale of Monitise Stake Represents Buying Opportunity: BTIG

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A recent report from BTIG Research says: Don’t worry. Be happy…and buy more Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF). In his September 18th blog post, analyst Mark Palmer of BTIG says that Visa Inc (NYSE:V)’s announcement that it was assessing the sale of its 5.5% stake in Monitise is not a big deal, and that the sell off in MONI’s share price on the news represents an excellent buying opportunity.

Putting the Visa announcement in perspective

Palmer argues that media has over-reacted and Visa Inc (NYSE:V)’s announcement needs to be put in perspective. He says, “we believe the evaporation of about a quarter of Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF)’s market capitalization in the wake of the news is vastly out of proportion to its likely impact on the company’s prospects, including its likelihood to eventually be taken over at a significantly higher share price by International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) or another suitor seeking to enhance its role in the global mobile money space.”

The blog goes on to encourage investors to take advantage of “a massive overreaction” by buying Monitise now.

Of note, Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF) reiterated all of its guidance through FY18, including its projections of at least 25% revenue growth in fiscal year 2015, EBITDA profitability in fiscal year 2016, and 200 million users at £2.50 ARPU by the end of fiscal year 2018 as part of its announcement Thursday.

Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF) also stated that it would see no financial impact from Visa Inc (NYSE:V)’s decision until fiscal year 2016 at the earliest and that even that would likely have no material impact on its fiscal year 2017 revenue.

Statement from Monitise

“Visa’s decision to increase internal development after our current contract ends in 2016 can be seen in the same light of reducing focus on integration work for third parties,” the company noted in its press release Thursday.

Increased odds of eventual IBM buyout of Monitise

Palmer says that Visa Inc (NYSE:V)’s decision to develop resources in-house makes it more likely that Monitise will eventually be acquired by IBM.

He points to former Visa Inc. senior executive Elizabeth Buse becoming Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF)’s co-CEO this summer, as well as the arrival several other former Visa Inc (NYSE:V) execs as a sign the firm is on solid ground long term. He also notes Monitise’s enhanced agreement with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced on August 27 in which the company will benefit directly from big Blue’s global sales and distribution network.

Moreover, according to Palmer, Monitise willnot lack for business leads going forward whether Visa Inc. is helping it or not. Co-CEO Alistair Lukies recently described the current new business pipeline as “huge.”

Palmer says he continues to see Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF) as uniquely positioned to benefit from the global growth of mobile money, and could end up with many partners. For example, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and Indonesia’s PermataBank announced this week that the BBM Money mobile commerce service for smartphones on the Android, iPhone and BlackBerry platforms will be live in the first quarter of 2015.

He also notes BBM is one of the most popular messaging applications in Indonesia, and that its monthly active user count has increased by 150% over the last year. Furthermore, Indonesia’s current debit card penetration is just 11%, and it has the second-fastest rate of mobile commerce growth after China.

Palmer sums up his bull case on Monitise in the conclusion of his blog: “In the final analysis, we believe the ultimate impact of the Visa Inc (NYSE:V)  announcement is that it reduces the odds that Visa will be the company that ultimately takes over Monitise Plc (LON:MONI) (OTCMKTS:MONIF) while increasing the odds that International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) will be the one to do so.”

As previously reported, Monitise has become a ‘battle ground stock’ with Leon Cooperman, the largest shareholder, (obviously) being  bullish, while some Tiger Cubs are shorting the stock.

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