With the industry’s lowest price-earnings ratio and customers ranging from cab drivers to retailers, VeriFone may lure bidders including Google Inc. which created a mobile- payment service, and PayPal owner EBay Inc., said SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. As VeriFone offers technology for users to pay by tapping a phone near a cash register, a buyer would gain a foothold in mobile-payment transactions that Juniper Research Ltd. estimates will rise almost fourfold to $1.3 trillion by 2017. A takeover should fetch at least $50 a share, a 70 percent premium, said Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
“Just on the valuation alone it’s attractive” for a takeover, David Rudow, a Minneapolis-based analyst at Thrivent, which oversees $73 billion including VeriFone shares, said in a telephone interview. “This is a company that is very well positioned. They’re in one of the most exciting areas of technology right now.”