Shares of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the seventeen analysts who currently cover the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have issued a hold rating on the company. The 12-month average price target among brokerages that have reported on the stock over the past year is $18.89.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Wolfe Research downgraded Western Union shares from a “market performer” rating to an “underperformer” rating and cut its price target for the company from $20.00 to $17.00 in a Wednesday, July 20 research report. Barclays cut its price target on Western Union shares to $17.00 in a Monday, August 15 research report. UBS Group cut its price target on Western Union shares from $19.00 to $18.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a Thursday, Aug. 4 research report. Northland Securities cut its price target on Western Union shares from $24.00 to $22.00 in a Thursday, Aug. 4, research report. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Western Union shares from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a Tuesday, July 12 research report.
Western Union stock up 1.2%
Western Union stock opened Monday at $14.91. Western Union has a 1-year low of $14.18 and a 1-year high of $21.87. The company has a market capitalization of $5.75 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 6.69 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a debt ratio of 6.01. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $16.13 and a 200-day simple moving average of $17.18.
Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3. The credit services provider reported earnings per share of $0.51 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $0.41 by $0.10. Western Union had a net margin of 18.27% and a return on equity of 239.89%. During the same period last year, the company posted earnings per share of $0.48. On average, analysts predict Western Union will post 1.8 earnings per share for the current year.
Western Union announces dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30. Investors of record on Friday, September 16 will receive a dividend of $0.235 per share. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.94 and a dividend yield of 6.30%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 15. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.15%.
Hedge funds weigh on Western Union
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their stock holdings. Tortoise Index Solutions LLC increased its position in Western Union shares by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. Tortoise Index Solutions LLC now owns 13,894 shares of the credit service provider valued at $248,000 after purchasing an additional 540 shares during the period. FCF Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Western Union by 2.7% in the first quarter. FCF Advisors LLC now owns 25,304 shares of the credit services provider worth $474,000 after purchasing an additional 661 shares during the period. Parallel Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Western Union by 17.1% in the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 4,544 shares of the credit service provider worth $75,000 after purchasing an additional 662 shares during the period. Oxbow Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Western Union by 0.4% in the first quarter. Oxbow Advisors LLC now owns 188,768 shares of the credit service provider worth $3,538,000 after purchasing an additional 686 shares during the period. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund increased its holdings in Western Union by 0.3% in the second quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 279,924 shares of the credit service provider worth $4,610,000 after purchasing an additional 738 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 97.38% of the company’s shares.
About Western Union
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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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