Stock analysts expect The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) to post sales of $1.15 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Six analysts have released earnings estimates for Western Union, with estimates ranging from $1.08 billion to $1.20 billion. Western Union posted sales of $1.21 billion in the same quarter last year, indicating a negative 5% year-over-year growth rate. The company is expected to release its next earnings report on Monday, January 1.
According to Zacks, analysts expect Western Union to report annual sales of $4.74 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $4.57 billion to $4.81 billion. For next year, analysts expect the company to register sales of $4.77 billion, with estimates ranging from $4.62 billion to $4.86 billion. Zacks sales averages are an average average based on a survey of sell-side analysts who track Western Union.
Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 10. The credit services provider reported EPS of $0.64 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.11. Western Union had a return on equity of 291.68% and a net margin of 15.89%. The company posted revenue of $1.28 billion in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. During the same period of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $0.45. The company’s revenue increased 1.0% year over year.
WU has been the subject of several research reports. Wolfe Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating and published a target price of $21.00 on Western Union shares in a research report on Friday, March 25. StockNews.com began covering Western Union in a research report on Thursday. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Citigroup reduced its target price on Western Union from $25.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Jan. 26 research report. Morgan Stanley reworded a “sell” rating and set a target price of $15.50 on Western Union shares in a Friday, March 11 research report. Finally, the UBS Group launched coverage on Western Union in a report on Thursday. They set a “neutral” rating and a price target of $19.00 for the company. Three equity research analysts gave the stock a sell rating, nine gave the company a hold rating and two gave the company a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.13.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Western Union by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 60,702,355 shares of the credit services provider worth $1,082,930,000 after buying 8,905,368 additional shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in Western Union shares by 139.0% in the third quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 8,143,421 shares of the credit service provider valued at $164,660,000 after acquiring an additional 4,736,661 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in Western Union stock in the fourth quarter worth approximately $77,357,000. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in Western Union shares by 121.2% in the fourth quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 7,143,709 shares of the credit service provider valued at $127,444,000 after acquiring an additional 3,914,104 shares during the period. Finally, Discerene Group LP increased its position in Western Union shares by 138.6% in the fourth quarter. Discerene Group LP now owns 5,681,336 shares of the credit service provider valued at $101,355,000 after acquiring an additional 3,299,899 shares during the period. 98.88% of the shares are held by institutional investors.
Western Union shares opened at $18.74 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 0.97 and a leverage ratio of 8.46. The company has a market capitalization of $7.37 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 9.51 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a fifty-day simple moving average of $18.51 and a 200-day simple moving average of $18.67. Western Union has a fifty-two week minimum of $15.69 and a fifty-two week maximum of $26.61.
Western Union said its board approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, Feb. 10 that sees the company repurchase $1.00 billion in stock. This repurchase authorization allows the credit service provider to repurchase up to 13.5% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 31. Investors of record on Thursday, March 17 received a dividend of $0.235. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 16. This represents a dividend of $0.94 on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.02%. Western Union’s dividend payout rate is 47.72%.
Western Union Company Profile (Get an assessment)
The Western Union Company provides money transfer and payment services worldwide. The Company operates in two segments, Consumer-to-Consumer and Business Solutions. The Consumer-to-Consumer segment facilitates money transfers between two consumers, primarily through a network of third-party agents and sub-agents; and offers international cross-border transfers and intra-country transfers, as well as money transfer transactions via websites and mobile devices.
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