“Visa’s IPO Is Worth a Close Reading” (via WSJ)


Herb Greenberg reports in The Wall Street Journal on March 22 [Page A11, subscription required] on what we have long been mentioning - The Visa IPO risk factors. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after the drunken jubilation subsided that investors are beginning to understand what is at stake.  We posted the Visa Inc. SEC filing and risk factors on Dec 22.  Why was the media as negligent as investment advisers and underwriters in better not explaining the facts behind the largest IPO in our nation’s history?  Was it greed, or the rush to get the deal done at all costs.  Now that the party is over and that window of opportunity to complete the IPO is sealed, sobriety comes in a few weeks, when the billions in Federal Reserve loans are called.   

Click here to read the Herb Greenberg WSJ article.

Excerpts:

  • Investors generally overlook “risk factors,” as they are called. These can be found in all IPO prospectuses and 10-K annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This is where the company is supposed to bend over backwards to tell you where the booby traps might be.”
  • Much of it is boilerplate, but Visa’s warnings go beyond mere boilerplate to some specific issues that could very well spook investors if and when they ever make it into the headlines.  Consider, for example, that the first eight pages of its risk factors are devoted to legal and regulatory matters. Most companies usually start with business risks, but with Visa — and MasterCard — the lawyers (and some politicians) have had a field day.  Perhaps the stickiest concern has to do with lawsuits, as Visa puts it, over the amount of money the credit-card companies charge merchants.”

  • Visa Inc. Files 10-K Annual Report, Amends S-1 Registration
    key point: “Failure to successfully defend or settle the interchange litigation would result in liability that to the extent not covered by our retrospective responsibility plan could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, or, in certain circumstances, even cause us to become insolvent.” 
  •  Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning

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