Wachovia Lowers iPayment to Market Perform

Analyst David Trossman cites valuation for the provider of credit-card processing services

Wachovia downgraded iPayment (iPayment ) to market perform from outperform.

Analyst David Trossman says he downgraded given iPayment's recent move to levels above his $35 to $41 valuation range. He says he's not aware of any fundamental news that drove yesterday's move in iPayment. He says iPayment's business of processing credit-card transactions for very small merchants remains very attractive.

Still, Trossman thinks the company is in the early stage of its goal of consolidating acquirers of small merchant transactions. He says the stock trades at 12 times EBITDA, and 20 times the free cash flow benchmark, reflecting expectations of continued strong growth. Trossman sees $1.32 2004 EPS and $1.50 in 2005.

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