The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) – Equity analysts William Blair cut their first-quarter 2022 earnings estimates for Western Union shares in a research report released to clients and investors on Thursday, February 10. William Blair analyst C. Kennedy now expects the credit services provider to post earnings of $0.42 per share for the quarter, down from its previous estimate of $0.54. William Blair also released estimates for Western Union Q2 2022 earnings at $0.47 EPS, Q3 2022 earnings at $0.54 EPS and Q4 2022 earnings at $0.52 EPS. Western Union (NYSE:WU) last released its quarterly results on Wednesday, February 9. The credit service provider reported EPS of $0.64 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.12. The company posted revenue of $1.28 billion for the quarter, versus $1.29 billion for analysts. Western Union had a net margin of 16.10% and a return on equity of 311.01%. Western Union revenue for the quarter increased 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. In the same period a year earlier, the company had earned $0.45 per share.
Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company. Royal Bank of Canada lowered its price target on Western Union from $27.00 to $23.00 and set a “sector performance” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, Nov. 3, report. TheStreet downgraded Western Union from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a Wednesday, November 24 research note. Citigroup lowered its price target on Western Union from $25.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, January 26 research report. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered its price target on Western Union from $25.00 to $18.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 3, report. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered its price target on Western Union from $23.00 to $19.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 3, report. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have assigned the company a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.00.
WU opened at $19.43 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $18.26 and a 200-day moving average price of $19.47. Western Union has a 12-month low of $15.69 and a 12-month high of $26.61. The company has a debt ratio of 7.74, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.93. The company has a market capitalization of $7.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.81 and a beta of 0.95.
Western Union announced that its board of directors launched 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 buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 31. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 17 will receive a dividend of $0.235 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 16. This represents a dividend of $0.94 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.84%. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.47%.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have been buying and selling stocks recently. Denali Advisors LLC bought a new position in Western Union stock during the fourth quarter worth approximately $25,000. First Horizon Advisors Inc. increased its position in Western Union by 144.7% in the third quarter. First Horizon Advisors Inc. now owns 1,664 shares of the credit service provider worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 984 shares during the period. CWM LLC purchased a new stake in Western Union in Q4 worth approximately $30,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its position in Western Union by 83.5% in the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 2,110 shares of the credit service provider worth $42,000 after purchasing an additional 960 shares during the period. Finally, Spire Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Western Union in the 4th quarter for a value of approximately $42,000. 98.87% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors.
About Western Union
The Western Union Co is a holding company that provides money transfer and payment services. It operates through the following segments: Consumer-to-Consumer; Business solutions; and other. The Consumer-to-Consumer segment facilitates money transfers between two consumers. The Business Solutions segment offers payment and foreign exchange solutions, cross-border and multi-currency transactions, for small and medium enterprises and other organizations and individuals.
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