Wall Street analysts expect The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) to report sales of $1.16 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Six analysts made estimates of Western Union’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate at $1.24 billion and the lowest estimate at $1.08 billion. Western Union posted sales of $1.21 billion in the same quarter last year, suggesting a negative 4.1% year-over-year growth rate. The company is due to announce its next results on Tuesday, May 3.
According to Zacks, analysts expect Western Union to report annual sales of $4.74 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $4.57 billion to $4.81 billion. For next year, analysts expect the company to report sales of $4.77 billion, with estimates ranging from $4.62 billion to $4.86 billion. Zacks Investment Research sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that provide coverage for Western Union.
Western Union (NYSE:WU) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, February 10. 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, compared to analysts’ estimates of $1.29 billion. Western Union achieved a return on equity of 311.01% and a net margin of 16.10%. The company’s revenues increased by 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $0.45.
WU has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered its price target on Western Union from $25.00 to $18.00 and placed a “hold” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, Nov. 3, report. Citigroup cut its price target on Western Union from $25.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, Jan. 26 research report. TheStreet downgraded Western Union from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a Wednesday, November 24 research note. Susquehanna lowered its target price on Western Union from $23.00 to $21.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 3 research note. Finally, Northland Securities lowered its target price on Western Union from $32.00 to $25.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 3 research note. Three investment analysts gave the stock a sell rating, six gave the company a hold rating and two gave the company a buy rating. According to MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.90.
Institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the company. Capital Research Global Investors increased its holding in Western Union shares by 7.0% during the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 22,532,152 shares of the credit service provider worth $455,600,000 after acquiring an additional 1,467,320 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Western Union by 0.9% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 20,918,433 shares of the credit service provider valued at $480,496,000 after buying an additional 181,718 shares last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Western Union by 9.0% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 9,908,400 shares of the credit service provider valued at $200,348,000 after buying an additional 820,330 shares last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in Western Union by 16.5% during the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 9,487,728 shares of the credit services provider valued at $169,261,000 after buying an additional 1,344,307 shares last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. increased its holdings in Western Union by 19.8% during the third quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 9,182,789 shares of the credit service provider valued at $185,676,000 after purchasing an additional 1,520,013 shares last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.87% of the company’s shares.
NYSE:WU opened at $19.73 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.96 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt ratio of 7.74. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $18.47 and its 200-day simple moving average is $19.41. Western Union has a 12-month low of $15.69 and a 12-month high of $26.61.
The company also recently declared 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. This represents a dividend of $0.94 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.76%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 16. Western Union’s payout rate is 47.47%.
Western Union announced that its board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, Feb. 10 that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion of outstanding stock. This repurchase authorization authorizes the credit service provider to repurchase up to 13.5% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that a company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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 cross-currency transactions for small and medium-sized businesses and other organizations and individuals.
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