Growth stock analysis

How to Analyze Growth Stocks – Simple Delta of the Delta Tool – Visa 15% Growth Stock Example

How to analyze growth stocks

A tool that is extremely important when it comes to growth stocks analysis is the delta of the delta. We will use Visa as a growth stock example and by the end of the article you will have another valuable tool when it comes to assessing the risk and reward of an investment, in this case a growth stock. The following chart explains the growth stock analysis we will discuss and what you’ll fully master by the end of the article.

growth stock analysis tool
growth stock analysis tool

Growth stocks – The decade of growing valuations

Growth stock analysis video

The last decade has been the decade of growth stocks. The Nasdaq index is up almost 6 times over the last decade.

growth stocks
growth stocks

That is an amazing performance and tech businenesses, growth stocks, did perform really well over the past decade. However, did those businesses perform as well as their respective stock prices?

Microsoft’s (MSFT) price to earnings ratio increased from 7.5 in 2011 to the current 30.

growth stock analysis - MSFT
growth stock analysis – MSFT

Source: MSFT growth stock – Macrotrends

Such an expansion in valuation means that investors’ expectations considering growth have also been constantly growing in comparison to what they expected at the beginning of the decade.

Similarly, Visa’s PE ratio expanded from 15.5 in 2010 to the current 33.5.

how to analyze growth stocks

Source: Visa growth stock – Macrotrends

Such valuation expansions tell us that investors expect strong growth rates going forward that justify paying a relatively high price for a growth stock. The expectation of future growth, in combination with current growth, is what keeps the stock price going higher and higher as investors combine current strong business growth with even higher expectations of growth in the future. This leads to growing PE ratios and consequently constantly higher stock prices.

As investors, we have to look at the key factor that will influence future investment returns: the delta of the delta – the change in the growth. I have recently analysed Visa stock and it will serve as a great example for the application of this tool. Let me give you first a quick introduction to Visa’s stock and then we’ll apply the technique to make a Visa growth stock analysis.

Visa Growth Stock Analysis

Visa Stock (NYSE:V) is the ultimate compounder. Revenue keeps growing, earnings and cash flows too, that leads to constantly higher dividends while the market for Visa simply keeps increasing thanks to global economic growth.

growth stock analysis - revenue growth
growth stock analysis – revenue growth

Visa growth stock – revenue growth

I have two bank accounts; one is Visa the other is MasterCard. I think if you open your wallet, you’ll probably find a Visa card.

Visa Stock Growth Performance

When you look at what Visa did in the past, it is simply amazing. Over the last decade, revenues more than tripled, net income quadrupled and the dividend was increased by a factor of 10.

How to analyze growth stocks - dividend growth
How to analyze growth stocks – dividend growth

Visa growth stock – dividend growth

With such financial metrics, the only outcome for a stock is to skyrocket.

Growth stock analysis - stock price growth
Growth stock analysis – stock price growth

Visa stock growth – stock price performance

Visa stock analysis and valuation

On the other hand, Visa’s stock also comes with a high valuation and low dividend. The whole game with Visa stock is that it has to continue to grow and compound for the stock price to keep growing. As soon as the growth slows down, there will be a big hit for the stock too.

Fortunately for Visa stock holders, the company just keeps on giving and giving. They have a low dividend payout ratio of around 20% because they can reinvest capital at rates above 20%.

Visa stock profitability

Growth stock profitability
Growth stock profitability

Source: Visa Stock Morningstar

The company has all what you can dream about when it comes to investing; growing revenues, a high margin, high return on invested capital alongside constantly growing distributions to shareholders. Apart from the dividend, the number of Visa stock outstanding fell from 3 billion to 2.2 billion over the last 10 years. That is almost 30% less than the number of Visa stocks outstanding in 2009!

Growth stock analysis - financials
Growth stock analysis – financials

Visa’s growth comes from their strong moat that is also reflected within their extremely high net profit margin of 50%.

Visa stock business performance

How to analyze growth stocks - moat
How to analyze growth stocks – moat

Source: Visa Stock Investor relations

Visa stock growth outlook

The outlook is simple when it comes to Visa stock. For as long as the company can keep growing earnigns at 15% per year, the stock will follow. The menagement expects the company to continue to grow earnings in the mid-teens range.

Visa stock earnings outlook

Source: Visa Stock Investor relations

Visa growth stock investment analysis

When it comes to investing, it all depends on growth. If there is an economic halt, Visa’s traffic and profitability could stagnate for a while and consequently the stock would stagnate too. Visa is definitely a business that compounds, but I would say fairly priced given the PE ratio of around 30. If earnings continue to compound at 15% per year, the PE ratio on the current price will be just 15 in 5 years and just 7.5 in 10 years. The stock price will consequently grow alonside earnings growth at a constant valuation.

Visa earnings analysis

Earnings growth stock analysis
Earnings growth stock analysis

So, the questions are:

  • Will Visa continue to grow as fast for a long time?
  • What happens if Visa’s growth is in the low teens or in the high teens?

The answers to the questions will be given by the delta of the delta tool that looks at the change in the growth rate.

The change in the growth rate – the delta of the delta growth stock analysis tool

For example, if Visa’s growth, that is expected to be at 15% going forward, falls down to 10% per year, everything would change from an investing perspective. This is counterintuitive because 10% yearly growth is still amazing, but it might not be what is baked into the stock price.

If  Visa’s earnings grow 10% over the next 5 years, earnings per share would grow from the current $5.32 to $8.71 and not to $10.70 as it would be the case with 15% growth.

growth stocks analysis tool
growth stocks analysis tool

You might think how this doesn’t really make a great difference. Well, the change in growth makes all the difference. The market is willing to pay a price earnings ratio of 33 for 15% yearly growth. If the growth falls to 10% and the growth trend is slowing down, the market might want to pay a price to earnings ratio of just 20 for that. Thus, in five years, earnings per share of $8.71 with a PE ratio of 20 would lead to a stock price of $174, a stock price close to current levels. This would meand investors would look towards zero returns in the coming 5 years, despite the fact that the company is still growing at 10% per year.

The same works on the upside too. If Visa manages to grow at 20% per year, earnings per share would go from $5.71 to $14.2 over the next 5 years and the market would probably value the stock with a PE ratio of 40 and the stock price would reach at an incredible $568.

growth stocks analysis tool example
growth stocks analysis tool example

But this is the magic of growth stocks and when you analyze growth stocks, the key to watch is the change in the growth rate, i.e. the delta of the delta.

Growth stock analysis conclusion

The best way to apply the delta of the delta growth stock analysis tool is to use it for investment risk and reward analysis:

  • What is the probability that Visa growts at 20%?
  • What is the probability that we have a global slowdown over the coming 5 years and that Visa’s growth falls to single digits?

The delta of the delta growth stock analysis tool gives you a range of what you can expect qua valuations, stock price targets and investment returns in relation to the growth rate.

Growth stock analysis tool chart
Growth stock analysis tool chart

Growth impact on stock price:

  1. Growth matches expectations

If the growth matches the growth expectations, the stock price will likely grow at the same rate of the growth.

  • Growth rate beats expectations

If the growth rate beats expectations, the stock price will likely growth even faster as investors will give it an even higher price to earnings ratio in expectations of even higher earnings in the future due to faster growth. This is the case where Visa stock can easily grow form $178 to $568 over the next 5 years.

  • Growth rate below expectations

If the growth rate falls below expectations, all the exuberant fellings quickly turn cold, the market gives a much lower valuation to the stock and consequently the stock price can fall a lot. This is why investing in growth stocks is considered risky and why investors expect a high return when doing so.

I hope this helped to increase your tool box when it comes to investing. It is a simple technique but so important when it comes to assessing investement risks and rewards of a growth stock. If you with to learn more, please check my FREE Comprehensive Stock Market Investing Course – did I mention it is FREE? It has many similar lectures, both in video and written form.

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