Payment processors such as MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) acted incredibly well in 2012 and we expect that momentum to carry into 201 3. MA, in particular, continues to expand internationally adding further to its revenue and net income growth. We believe this earnings growth, an improving global outlook, and continued success of its product offerings will lend to some fine momentum trades and solid long-term positions.
We also think the online brokers could get very interesting in 2013. Scott and I first introduced our bullish-biased trade in November on TD Ameritrade (AMTD). Relative to peer, it is the cheapest in the group, sports the strongest profit and operating margins and pays a healthy dividend (and also declared a special dividend on December 10!). More importantly, we expect Average Daily Volume monthly numbers to improve in 2013 as the retail investor comes back to the market. While ADV was down for 2012, account assets have increased, and there is a lot of cash to put to work. AMTD's CEO mentioned at a Goldman Sachs conference on December 4 that he expects ADVs to improve month-over-month in 2013. The stock reacted favorably and the momentum has continued, confirming our thesis. Charles Schwab also (SCHW) just announced similar guidance on December 18. Pay attention to this group. William Blair, a sell-side research shop is catching on, having just initiated AMTD with a Buy on December 19.
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