Shares of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the fourteen ratings firms that currently cover the company, Marketbeat reports. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating on the company. The 12-month average price target among analysts who have covered the stock over the past year is $22.25.
WU has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Northland Securities lowered its price target on Western Union shares from $32.00 to $25.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, Nov. 3 research note. BTIG Research downgraded Western Union shares from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a Wednesday, October 20 report. Susquehanna cut its price target on Western Union shares from $23.00 to $21.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 3, report. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered its price target on Western Union shares from $25.00 to $18.00 and set a “holding” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 3 research report. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered its price target on Western Union shares from $23.00 to $19.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a Wednesday 3 November.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently changed their positions in the company. DNB Asset Management AS increased its position in Western Union shares by 0.5% in the third quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 96,076 shares of the credit services provider valued at $1,943,000 after purchasing an additional 519 shares during the period. NuWave Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Western Union by 7.5% during the third quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 8,961 shares of the credit service provider worth $181,000 after buying 628 additional shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its stake in Western Union by 13.6% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 5,640 shares of the credit service provider worth $129,000 after buying 674 additional shares last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its stake in Western Union by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 17,317 shares of the credit services provider worth $308,000 after buying 683 additional shares in the last quarter. Finally, CI Investments Inc. increased its stake in Western Union by 4.6% during the third quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 15,529 shares of the credit service provider worth $314,000 after buying an additional 689 shares last quarter. Institutional investors hold 98.87% of the company’s shares.
WU opened at $18.84 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.52 and a beta of 0.95. Western Union has a 12-month low of $15.69 and a 12-month high of $26.61. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt ratio of 7.74. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $17.84 and a 200-day moving average of $19.83.
Western Union (NYSE:WU) last announced its quarterly results on Monday, November 1. The credit service provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.63 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $0.58 by $0.05. The company posted revenue of $1.29 billion in the quarter, compared to analysts’ estimates of $1.31 billion. Western Union achieved a return on equity of 311.01% and a net margin of 16.10%. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company had earned earnings per share of $0.57. On average, research analysts expect Western Union to post earnings per share of 2.08 for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 31. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 17 received a dividend of $0.235. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 16. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.94 and a dividend yield of 4.99%. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.47%.
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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