The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) Receives an Average “Hold” Rating from Brokerages

Shares of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the seventeen rating agencies that currently cover the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Four investment analysts rated the stock with a sell recommendation, ten gave the company a hold recommendation and one gave the company a buy recommendation. The 12-month average price target among brokerages that have reported on the stock over the past year is $19.96.

WU has been the subject of several analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group launched coverage on Western Union shares in a research report on Tuesday, May 17. They set a rating of “sell” and a price target of $18.00 for the company. Wolfe Research reissued a “holding” rating and set a price target of $21.00 on Western Union shares in a Friday, March 25 research report. UBS Group launched coverage on Western Union shares in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They set a “neutral” rating and a price target of $19.00 for the company. picked up coverage of Western Union stocks in a Thursday, March 31 research report. They set a “holding” rating for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Western Union shares from a “sell” to a “hold” rating and set a price target of $20.00 for the company in a Thursday research report. April 14.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their holdings in the company. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Western Union stock during Q4 for a value of approximately $25,000. CWM LLC acquired a new stake in Western Union stock during Q4 worth approximately $30,000. Riverview Trust Co increased its stake in Western Union shares to 99.7% during the 1st quarter. Riverview Trust Co now owns 2,047 shares of the credit service provider worth $38,000 after purchasing an additional 1,022 shares during the period. Spire Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Western Union in Q4 worth $42,000. Finally, Allworth Financial LP increased its stake in Western Union by 297.3% in the 4th quarter. Allworth Financial LP now owns 2,678 shares of the credit service provider valued at $48,000 after acquiring an additional 2,004 shares during the period. 97.43% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Western Union shares opened at $17.60 on Friday. The company has a debt ratio of 7.18, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.98. Western Union has a 1-year minimum of $15.69 and a 1-year maximum of $25.34. The company’s 50-day moving average is $18.13 and its two-hundred-day moving average is $18.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.79 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 7.75 and a beta of 0.91.

Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released its results on Thursday, April 28. The credit service provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.51 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.07. The company posted revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, versus $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 was down 4.5% year over year. During the same period of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $0.44. On average, stock analysts expect Western Union to post 1.8 earnings per share for the current year.

Western Union said its board launched a stock buyback program on Thursday, Feb. 10 that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in stock. This repurchase authorization allows the credit service provider to acquire 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.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 30. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 16 will receive a dividend of $0.235 per share. This represents a dividend of $0.94 on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.34%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 15. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio is currently 41.41%.

Western Union Company Profile (Get an evaluation)

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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