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About The Company
Market Capitalization $58.6B
Revenue (FYR) $6.7B
EPS $1.79
P/E Ratio 38.6x
Shares Outstanding 846.5 M
Avg. Daily Share Volume (Last 10 Days) 6.4 M
Dividend Yield 0.61%

Visa Inc is a profitable Consumer Financial Services company that trades on the NYSE. It operates a retail electronic payments network. The Company facilitates global commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses and government entities. Its primary customers are financial institutions, for which it provides product platforms encompassing consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments. VisaNet, its centralized, global processing platform, enables the Company to provide financial institutions and merchants with a range of product platforms, transaction processing and related value-added services. The Company owns a family of payment brands, including Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS and Interlink, which it licenses to its customers for use in their payment programs. It manages and promotes its brands through advertising, promotional and sponsorship initiatives, and by card usage and merchant acceptance. In my opinion, VISA is a great company for covered calls and naked puts. I originally purchased 300 shares when the stock first came to market in 2007. I was exercised at $70.00 on the stock in summer 2008. For the rest of the year I did naked puts on the stock. I believe this stock is undervalued but nevertheless, it trades in a range making naked put and covered call writing viable. I do believe that over time this stock will advance to over $100.00, but that could take many years or may never happen. I have no idea where the stock is heading, but I do like the premiums and volatility of this stock. As of August 2009 it pays a quarterly dividend of .105 cents. I am not as interested in owning the stock. I am interest in generating income by selling naked puts.



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By using this site, you agree to be bound by its terms of use. The full terms of use can be read here. If you do not agree to the terms of use, do not access or use this site.
Nothing presented is financial advice, trading advice or recommendations. Everything presented is the author's ideas only. The author accepts no liability for its use including errors and omissions. You alone are solely responsible for your own investing and trading. There are considerable risks involved in implementing any investment strategies and losses can be large. Trade at your own risk.


  VISA  (V) - 2010
Three strategies were employed in 2010. Naked Puts, Bull Call Spread and for a short period on April 16 - Naked Calls when I unwound the Bull Call Spread. As the stock was falling there was no point in closing the naked calls I had sold as part of the bull call spread. That's the nice thing about a bull call spread. Since there are two positions, should the trade turn against me, I can buy to close the lower strike and leave the higher strike to expire out of the money. If you follow through the trade for 2010 you will understand better how I employed the bull call spread.





Should you find my strategy and ongoing evaluation of this trade of value I hope you will consider a tip for the time I spend detailing out this trade. I have set up a Paypal account for those who would like to donate. Thank you in advance. Remember, nothing on my site is financial advice. They are just my ideas and opinions. Investing is risky and losses can be large. Trade at your own risk. Read the terms of use



YEAR 1: 2009 - Trade Commenced Aug 3 2009
Goal for 2009: 5% (5 months)
Strategy: Sell Naked Puts Until Assigned
Capital In Use At End Of 2009 62,000.00
Income Earned in 2009 (5 months) 4015.00
Return On Capital in 2009 (5 months) 6.4%
YEAR 2: 2010
Goal for 2010: 12%
Strategy: Sell Naked Puts Until Assigned
Capital In Use At End Of 2010 86,250.00
Income Earned in 2010 12,090.00
Return On Capital For 2010 14%



YEAR - 2:  2010

GOAL FOR 2010: 12%



EARNED INCOME FOR 2010: - $12,090.50


    END OF 2009 - INCOME - $4015.00                
Jan 25 10 83.60 BTC 3 NPS Feb 85 @ 3.85 (4.5)     (10.75)     (1165.75) 2849.25
Jan 25 10 83.60 BTC 3 NPS Feb 80 @ 1.23 (1.5)     (10.75)     (379.75) 2469.50
Jan 26 10 81.40 STO 3 NP MAR 80 @ 3.00 3.7     10.75     1129.25 3598.75
Jan 26 10 81.40 STO 3 NP MAR 75 @ 1.40 1.8     10.75     409.25 4008.00
March 19 2010: Where is VISA heading. Here is the complete chart on VISA from it's opening back in 2008 to today. It has doubled in value and shows very little chance of changing direction. Unless something dramatic happens, this stock could be easily heading to 100.00. But at 90.00 the stock is too expensive for me to continue with as I currently only want to commit 40,000 to this trade. To date I have made 4008.00. I have no interest in owning the stock and its dividend is not worthwhile. Therefore I am turning this into a bull call spread and I will monitor it to make adjustments as necessary. I will start with 15 calls for April and if the stock pulls back I will set up additional calls for May or June.

Mar 19 10 88.95 BTO 15 Calls Jun 70 @ 19.30
Comment: my cost: 89.30
      25.75   (28,975.75)    
Mar 19 10 88.95 STO 15 Calls Apr 90 @ 1.65
COMMENT: If this trade works out I should generate an additional .70 cents in income or 1050 before commissions.
Capital at risk - 26,526.50
      25.75     2449.25 6457.25
Mar 19 10 88.95 BTO 15 Puts Apr 80 @ .20       25.75     (325.75) 6131.50
Apr 16 2010: Every investor will always face the question of whether to close the trade and secure their final profit and then reconsider new entry points or an entirely new stock, or whether to continue the trade. How does an investor decide? It is actually easier than you think:

Here is what I do:
A) Decide whether or not the stock is still going to perform properly for my trade to work.
B) Decide if the return from the short calls, which I can make by staying in the spread and rolling the short side further out, is worthwhile. This is an individual choice but normally I like to be able to make almost as much as the original trade when I started the spread. Therefore the return has to almost be double. There is nothing wrong with doing the trade for a smaller premium, but normally if I cannot double my profit, close the trade and take my profit now. Then I assess setting up another trade with the same stock or moving to another stock entirely.
C) Decide on my comfort level.

To figure out A,B and C I do these steps:

A) Decide whether or not the stock is still going to perform properly for my trade to work.
I look at the past 6 months of the stock. Has there been any pullback and once the stock pulled back did the trend higher continue? If the stock has done nothing but move higher than I would be concerned of a pullback. When I look at the VISA chart above I can see there have been pullbacks all along the way. Every pullback was tested and held and the stock moved higher. I look upon this as excellent signs that accumulation of the stock continues on every decline. If there were no buyers then the stock would pullback and fall steeply until it reached a critical support level. Meanwhile in my chart above I can see that the stock pulled back, stopped, was accumulated by investors and pushed higher. This tells me there are still plenty of buyers.

B) Deciding whether to close the trade or roll to the next month. This is the easiest part.
If I close the trade now with April expiry I will earn:
$1050.00 from the spread itself
$2449.25 from selling the April 90 calls for $3.65
($325.75) deduct the April $80 protective puts.

= My total return would be $3173.50 or 10.9%. Therefore, if I close now, I will have earned 10.9% in one month on my bull call spread.

Step 2: Do I want to roll into May and continue the Bull Call Spread?

To Buy Back the April 90 calls I am going to spend $3.65 X 15 contracts for a total cost of $5500.75 including commission.

To Sell the May 90 calls I will receive $5.35 X 15 contracts for a total income of $7999.25 including commission. The income on this roll is $2498.50.  (7999.25 less 5500.75)

It is easy to see that the bull call spread should be continued. I earned $2449.25 from selling the April 90 calls while selling the May 90 calls earned me $2498.50 or almost the same amount. The return will be double my April return.

If the spread works out by May expiry, with the stock at or above the May $90 strike, my return is:
$1050.00 from the spread itself
$2449.25 from selling the April $90 calls
$2498.50 from selling the May $90 calls
(325.75) deducted the April $80 protective puts

= $5672.00 divided by the original purchase of the Jun $70 calls of $28,975.75 = 19.57%. or just about double the April trade.

Addendum: I would move to June and sell the June 90 calls which were trading at $6.00 as while they are higher in premium, they are not double the premium of the May calls so my return is lower when spread out over the 2 month period. (May and June).

C) Decide on my comfort level:  I looked at the chart and I am happy with the stock action. My return is double by staying for another month and my capital at risk has been reduced by an additional $2498.50 to $24,028.00 on 15 contracts. If I wanted I could purchase a few protective puts to try to hedge the trade.

Closing: A few readers asked if I would consider the May or June $95 strike. I would not consider this, but for those who are risk oriented, I would suggest the Jun $95 at $3.20. However this means I would be rolling for a net debit as the April $90 is costing $3.65 to close and this is not something I would do. I therefore would stay with the $90 strike and roll for a net credit. If I roll to the $95 strike, I have effectively placed my trade in jeopardy as I have given up income in order to try to gain from the stock moving to or above $95.00. If I thought the $95.00 strike would be a good choice, I would close my original trade, take my profit and then set up a new trade.

QUESTION FROM A READER: Hello. I had a look at the diagonal bull call spread on Visa and wonder why you choose the long call so far ITM.  It appears that this would be a stock replacement technique and the Jun 70 call with a delta of .91 is a good candidate to sell covered calls against. However the IV is quite high since the strike is so far away from the underlying and when looking at the 80 strike instead I couldn't find a good reason not to use it instead.

It appears to me the Jun70c is overpriced as indicated by the IV. Current figures on your 15 contracts +Jun70c/-Apr90c spread show the following data: cost $17.59...    current prc $88.80...   Jun70c IV  35%...     Apr90c IV 22%... Risk amount $26,385... Delta 730... Theta 38... Vega -47

By doubling the number of contracts to 30 and using the Jun80call you get the same amount at risk and it seems to me the greeks are much better. Although the Jun80c has a delta of .79 compared to the .91 of the Jun70c the spread delta for the same risk is greater.

30 contracts +Jun80c/-Apr90c:
cost $8.61...     current prc $88.80...   Jun80c IV 27.5%...   Apr90c IV 22%... Risk amount $25,830... Delta 1109 Theta 56... Vega 88

A one point increase in the underlying will already achieve $1100 profit compared to $730 using the Jun70c. Also the Theta nets $18 a day more. I think the Vega is advantageous too since if the stock declines the positive Vega will mitigate the decline somewhat and compensate for the higher delta whereas the Jun70c negative Vega would lose $47 for each 1% increase in Vol.  

Please let me know if I am missing something here, and thanks for your great website and help in showing others your planning and thinking process.
MY ANSWER:  It is a question of time and position.

You are right that the Jun $80 for the Bull Call Spread makes a good entry. As well I also considered the $75. The probability indicators show the chance of the stock falling to $80 is around 4.5% (very low). The chance of $70 is .00063%  The chance of $85 is at 23%. However in my strategies I cannot just rely on the Greeks, probability indicators or my 10-20-30 rules or candlesticks. My strategy also has to contain protection, be as conservative as possible given the desire to place a spread trade and draws upon my years of being in the market place. I want to increase the odds for a favorable outcome. I have held spreads through some particularly troubling markets. Just when I thought things were perfect, the market would hand me a surprise.

I choose the $70 strike to guard against a serious or unforeseen market downturn. (think 9/11) I have left myself plenty of room and therefore more time to make further decisions and rescue as much as possible my trade. Holding the $80 is 10% below the present valuation and certainly an excellent long point, but there is only one strike above it to sell in the event of a serious downturn. I remember holding stocks through some wild one day or weekly events and I can recall what saved me. It was time and position.

I was holding many bull call spreads on Oct 20 1987 when the market fell more than 20%. The market bounced up the next day and then commenced falling and by Oct 29th we were down more than the 20% one day drop and by Nov 11 we were lower than Oct 29th.

On July 22 1998, most of my stocks were holding their own. 12 trading days later I was down 20%. The market had a short 8% 6 day rally and then I was down 23% in 9 days. The window of opportunity to reposition trades is often very small. Oct 20 1987 had only a one day window to reposition the trade. Put values went through the roof and I lost as much as 30% on some spreads over a period of 5 days. On Sept 17 2001 when the markets reopened after 9/11, the Dow fell 7.1% in one day and by week's end the Dow was down 14.3%. It was the worst week on record until the 2008 credit crisis.  

Aside from these events let's look at Visa itself:

On Friday Jan 9 2009 Visa was trading between 55 and 56. On Monday Jan 12 it fell to 52.96 and by the next Monday it was at 42.00 a fall of a little over 23% in 6 trading days.

Jun 9 2009 - Visa hit a high of 70.37 and 7 trading days later the stock hit a low of 60.63 a drop of 13.8%

Sep 23 2009 - Visa hit a high of 74.99 and 7 trading days later the stock was down 7.2% at 67.79.

Jan 20 2010 Visa traded as high as 87.74. 6 trading days later Visa had hit a low of 80.99 and closed at 81.15 a pullback of 7.6%.

On March 12th 2010 Visa closed at the high: $93.58 and my 10-20-30 technical indicators showed a stock in full uptrend. Also the stock closed at the high making a bullish candle. Now 5 trading days later we are at 88.84, a drop of 5%.

Let's look at my strategy:

If I look at the past pullbacks over the last 12 months I see that the worst pullbacks are in earlier 2009 and that the last 2 pullbacks were contained around 7%. I feel this present drop of 5% is coming to an end and placed my bet on the bull call spread. I could easily be wrong and I added 15 April 80 puts at .20 cents during trading on Friday to cap my losses at the $80 strike.

The problem for me with the $80 strike is the "wiggle room". At $80.00 all my capital is at risk in any 10% move lower. I can't really protect that capital with an 80 put. At the $70 level, I feel I have more time to adjust, close, roll, add more puts, whatever. These are all the same things I could do when holding the $80 long call, but at $70, I feel I have a little more "wiggle" room to study and not react with emotion. Also being at 70.00 I can continue to sell calls at $85.00, then $80.00 and then $75.00 if need be. I have done this strategy numerous times including during Sept 2008 and in Feb 2009 when the market began to fall apart. I was able to rescue my call spreads and actually turn a profit on many of them simply because I was so deep in the money with my long call side. It also afforded me lots of opportunity to roll out and continue the trade in the following month(s). Premium levels normally increase if there is a strong pullback and this helps my strategy. As previously mentioned, at the $80 long call strike, I only have one strike above $80, which I can sell.

In the past when I was holding what I thought was a beautiful trade only to find out that a month can be a long time, I found that I tended to react faster, watching my trade fall apart. Today, through experience and by placing my long side deeper, I can revaluate and decide on a course of action, without any emotion. Time is on my side.

One final observation: You mentioned doubling up at the $80 strike, to place at risk the same amount, but increase the profit potential. I would not do this at $80 strike, for the reasons just mentioned, but would only hold 15 contracts and place at risk half the amount. I think it will be easy to adjust this position with 15 contracts should the stock fall.


Apr 16 10 93.74 Expiry: BTC 15 calls Apr 90 closed at 3.65 /15 puts Apr 80 expired       25.75     (5500.75) 630.75
Apr 16 10 93.74 STO 15 Calls May 90 @ 5.35
Capital at risk is now reduced by $2498.50 to $24,028.00
      25.75     7999.25 8630.00
Apr 16 10 93.74 BTO 15 Puts May 80 @ .08       25.75     (145.75) 8484.25
May 6 2010: What a difference a couple of weeks can make! Visa is in a dramatic fall. Today I have changed my trade by buying to close the May 90 calls and selling my Jun 70 calls and my May 80 puts. With the downturn I can return to selling naked puts.

May 6 10 86.10 STC 15 Calls Jun 17 @ 16.18       25.75   24244.25 (4731.50) 3752.75
May 6 10 83.85 BTC 15 Calls May 90 @ .47       25.75     (730.75)  
May 6 10 83.42 STC 15 PUTS MAY 80 @ 1.24       25.75     1834.25 4856.25
May 11 10 84.55 STO 5 NP 22MAY10 $80 @ .67 0.83     13.25     321.75 5178.00
May 18 2010 Well I got caught on this one! First my bull call spread collapsed and then I took sick and missed a few days and found out today that the stock was in freefall! Everyone is worried about the fees charged and what the government might do. They see this as an end to the profitability of Visa and Mastercard. I think it is nonsense. This is a great company. I bought to close my May 22 80 puts for a whopping $3463.25 cost - remember I only earned 321.75 when I sold the May 22 puts just a scant 7 days ago. Good thing though I closed my bull call spread earlier in May. It didn't make the return I had hoped for, but still I got out with a nice profit.
Now I have moved to sell 8 June 19 - 70 puts which covers my loss from having to buy back the May 80 puts and I also sold 4 more 65 puts for Jun. I then bought shares at the following levels and sold them all at $70.17 near the close of the day.
200 shares @ 68.88
200 shares @ 68.70
200 shares @ 68.60
200 shares @ 68.50
200 shares @ 68.40

All sold for $70.17 near the close.

The premiums are now excellent and I want to take advantage of this. If this stock falls below 65 I will keep rolling in the same manner and adding to my volume. I believe this stock will turn around quickly when everyone realizes what a mistake they have made in dumping out at these levels.
Just look at the chart below! The collapse today was more than 6% and the volume was huge. Momentum and MACD are showing the incredible drop. This is why I believe having cash always available is such a great thing. Many investors love to be fully invested, but its nice to take advantage of things like this when it happens. Overall I still like VISA.

May 18 10 75.80 BTC 5 NP 22MAY10 80 @ 6.90 (8.6)     13.25     (3463.25) 1714.75
May 18 10 69.10 STO 8 NP 19JUN10 70 @ 4.55 6.5     18.25     3621.75 5336.50
May 18 10 69.10 STO 4 NP 19JUN10 65 @ 2.35 3.6     12.00     928.00 6264.50
May 18 10   The following shares bought at these price levels:
200 shares @ 68.88
200 shares @ 68.70
200 shares @ 68.60
200 shares @ 68.50
200 shares @ 68.40
      35.00   (68651.00)    
May 18 10 70.17 Sold 1000 shares @ 70.17       7.00   70163.00 1512.00 7776.50
May 20 10 75.09 BTC 8 NP 19JUN10 70 @ 2.21       18.25     (1786.25) 5990.25
Jun 2 10 70.68 STO 5 NP 17JUL10 60 @ 1.10 1.8     13.25     536.75 6527.00
Jun 2 10 70.68 STO 5 NP 19JUN10 55 @ .22 0.40     13.25     96.75 6623.75
Jun 2 10 70.68 BTO 20 Calls 17JUL10 70 @ 3.95       32.00 (7932.00) (7932.00)    
Jun 3 10 72.88 STC 20 Calls 17JUL10 70 @ 5.40
Comments: I had no idea I would be selling this quickly, but with a return of 35% in 1 day I would be foolish not to close these positions. Should Visa pull back I will again purchase more calls.
      32.00 10768.00 10768.00 2836.00 9459.75
Jun 18 10 77.04 Expiry: 4 NP JUN 65 and 5 NP JUN 55 expired                
JUN 29 10 71.35 STO 5 NP 21AUG10 55 @ .68
Comments: At 55.00 I would definitely own VISA. I think the chance of this happening is very low.
1.2     13.25     326.75 9786.50
JUL 16 10 71.45 Expiry: 5 NP JUL 60 expired                
JUL 16 10 71.45 STO 5 NP SEP 55 @ .73 1.3     13.25     351.75 10138.25
Aug 2 2010 Visa has remained weak and continues to hover in the 70.00 range. This makes an excellent entry point on this great company. Today I sold an additional 5 naked puts for September at 65.00. On the chart below you can see how the 10-20-30 has gone flat. It doesn't indicate an up or down trend, simply sideways. This stock has not been below $65.00 in the past 52 weeks. The low point over the past 6 months occurred on May 18 at $68.29. I feel very comfortable selling the $65.00 strike for $1.08.

Aug 2 10 71.68 STO 5 NP SEP 65 @ 1.08 1.6     13.25     526.75 10665.00
Aug 20 10 70.10 Expiry: 5 NP AUG 10 55 expired                
Aug 20 10 70.10 STO 5 NP DEC 55 @ 1.30 2.3     13.25     636.75 11301.75

Sep 9 2010: Visa was literally hammered in MAY 2010 with a decline of 25% from its high of $91.27. There has been no recovery and the stock continues to slide. Is there a chance VISA could fall to the low $60ís or even into the 50ís?
Visa is an incredible story. A money making machine in the truest of sense. Yet today Merrill Lynch downgraded it to under perform and set a high target of $70.00 for the stock. I continue to believe that naked puts and naked calls are the only way to trade in most stocks. VISA is a success story. It will continue to generate strong revenue but it is trading at a multiple which I believe is too high. Right now (Sep 2010) it is trading at 18X earnings while rival Mastercard is at 15X earnings.  At 15X earnings, VISA would be trading at $54.60. Imagine those investors who bought the stock at $91.27 which was 25X earnings. Why would an investor do that? It always surprises me how investors can fail to even look at the most basic of technicals such as the Price Earnings.

Presently my VISA trade will remain with naked options only and obviously it is important to follow the 10-20-30 rule when selling those options. Looking at the chart below I can see an incredible waterfall on VISA. As well it is important to add the Oscillator and look at volume. Today for example, Visa set a new 52 week low. Volume was the highest since June 21 2010, as many investors bailed out today. The oscillator is moving towards oversold which could indicate an interim bottom may soon be reached. VISA is a major player in its field and at some point, should it fall too low, it will be an incredible buy. I will continue to sell puts lower on Visa and should the stock get into the low $50ís I will start to accumulate shares.

Sep 13 10 65.98 BTC 5 NP SEP 65 @ .69 (1.06)     13.25     (358.25) 10943.50
Sep 13 10 65.98 STO 5 NP JAN 55 @ 1.80 1.81%     13.25     886.75 11830.25
Sep 17 10 68.49 STO 5 NP DEC 60 @ 1.44 2.4     13.25     706.75 12537.00
Sept 17 2010: Downtrend still underway but while MACD and all the other technicals show a stock in trouble, I like VISA at these levels and would own it at 55.00 if it got that low. Meanwhile I will be selling naked puts at $60.00 for now.

Sep 17 10 68.49 Expiry: 5 NP Sep 55 expired                
Oct 15 10 77.60 BTC 5 NP DEC 55 @ .17 (0.30)     13.25     (98.25) 12438.75
Oct 15 10 77.60 STO 5 NP DEC 67.50 @ .71
COMMENTS: This is a roll up. Visa has recovered and it is well worth rolling up and staying within the same month.
1.0     13.25     341.75 12780.50
Nov 9 10 78.20 BTC 5 NP DEC 60 @ .07 (0.11)     13.25     (48.25) 12732.25
Nov 9 10 78.01 BTC 5 NP JAN 55 @ .14 (0.25)     13.25     (83.25) 12649.00
Nov 10 10 78.45 STO 5 NP JAN 72.50 @ 1.36 1.9     13.25     666.75 13315.75
Dec 16 10 66.90 STO 5 NP JAN 65.00 @ 2.40 3.6     13.25     1186.75 14502.50
Dec 16 10 72.50 BTC 5 NP JAN 72.50 @ 3.15 (4.3)     13.25     (1588.25) 12914.25
Dec 16 10 66.90 STO 5 NP MAR 70.00 @ 6.00 expired 8.5     13.25     2986.75 15901.00
Dec 17 10 68.10 BTC 5 NP DEC 67.50 @ .25
Comments: With VISA being so volatile, it made sense to close when the opportunity presented itself.
(0.30)     13.25     (138.25) 15762.75
Dec 17 10 67.10 STO 3 NP JAN $60 @ .60
COMMENTS: Later in the day the stock moved lower and I sold the Jan 60 strike - just 3 naked puts which leaves a couple more contracts available should the stock fall further.
1.0     10.75     169.25 15932.00
Dec 31 10 70.30 BTC 3 NP JAN $60 @ .07 0.11     10.75     (31.75) 15900.25
Dec 31 10 70.30 STO 3 NP FEB $62.50 @ .72 1.1     10.75     205.25 16105.50

END OF 2010 - Earned 12090.50 - 14%





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