Strs Ohio reduced its position in shares of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) by 19.4% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund held 13,950 shares of the credit service provider after selling 3,367 shares during the period. Strs Ohio’s holdings in Western Union were worth $261,000 when it was last filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors have also recently changed their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Western Union shares by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 60,702,355 shares of the credit service provider valued at $1,082,930,000 after buying an additional 8,905,368 shares last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised 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 services provider valued at $127,444,000 after buying an additional 3,914,104 shares last quarter. 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 services provider valued at $101,355,000 after buying an additional 3,299,899 shares last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in Western Union shares by 16.5% in the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 9,487,728 shares of the credit service provider valued at $169,261,000 after buying an additional 1,344,307 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Western Union shares by 162.5% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,429,917 shares of the credit service provider valued at $25,510,000 after buying an additional 885,273 shares last quarter. Institutional investors hold 97.43% of the company’s shares.
Analyst upgrades and downgrades
A number of equity research analysts have weighed in on WU shares recently. StockNews.com began covering Western Union stocks in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “holding” rating for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its price target on Western Union shares from $20.00 to $19.00 in a Friday, April 29 research report. UBS Group assumed coverage of Western Union shares in a Thursday, March 31 research report. They set a “neutral” rating and a price target of $19.00 for the company. TheStreet downgraded Western Union shares from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a Tuesday, July 12 research report. Finally, Citigroup downgraded Western Union shares from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a price target of $20.00 for the company. in a research report on Friday, April 29. Four equity research analysts gave the stock a sell rating, nine gave the stock a hold rating and one gave the stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.96.
Western Union stock performance
Shares of WU opened at $16.90 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt ratio of 7.18. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.44 and a beta of 0.91. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $16.87 and its two-hundred-day simple moving average is $17.93. The Western Union Company has a 12-month low of $15.30 and a 12-month high of $23.49.
Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, April 28. The credit service provider reported EPS of $0.51 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $0.44 by $0.07. The company posted revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, compared to $1.16 billion for analysts. Western Union had a net margin of 18.29% and a return on equity of 269.10%. The company’s quarterly revenue fell 4.5% from the same quarter last year. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $0.44. As a group, analysts expect The Western Union Company to post EPS of 1.8 for the current year.
Western Union announces dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 16 received a dividend of $0.235 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 15. This represents a dividend of $0.94 on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.56%. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 41.41%.
Western Union profile
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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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