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

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) received an average rating of “Hold” by the sixteen research firms that cover the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Four equity research analysts rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine issued a hold recommendation and one gave the company a buy recommendation. The 12-month average price target among analysts who have updated their coverage of the stock over the past year is $19.96.

Several research companies have recently weighed in on WU. Goldman Sachs Group began covering Western Union shares in a report on Tuesday, May 17. They set a “sell” rating and a price target of $18.00 for the company. 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 report on Friday, April 29. StockNews.com began covering Western Union shares in a report on Thursday, March 31. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $15.50 price target on Western Union shares in a Friday, March 11 report. Finally, Wolfe Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a price target of $21.00 on Western Union shares in a Friday, March 25 report.

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Shares of WU opened at $16.57 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.40 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 7.30 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt ratio of 7.18. Western Union has a 12-month low of $15.30 and a 12-month high of $23.68. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $17.33 and a two-hundred-day moving average price of $18.07.

Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly results on Thursday, April 28. The credit service provider reported EPS of $0.51 for the quarter, beating analyst consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.07. The company posted revenue of $1.16 billion in the quarter, versus $1.16 billion expected by analysts. Western Union had a net margin of 18.29% and a return on equity of 269.10%. The company’s revenue for the quarter decreased 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. In the same quarter last year, the company earned earnings per share of $0.44. Equity research analysts expect Western Union to post EPS of 1.8 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced 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. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 15. This represents a dividend of $0.94 on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.67%. Western Union’s payout rate is currently 41.41%.

A number of hedge funds have recently changed their positions in WU. Xponance Inc. increased its position in Western Union shares by 90.1% during the fourth quarter. Xponance Inc. now owns 58,959 shares of the credit services provider worth $1,052,000 after purchasing an additional 27,943 shares last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Western Union shares by 162.5% during the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,429,917 shares of the credit services provider worth $25,510,000 after purchasing an additional 885,273 shares last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its position in Western Union shares by 277.2% during the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 526,419 shares of the credit service provider worth $9,391,000 after purchasing an additional 386,875 shares last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in Western Union shares by 103.8% during the fourth quarter. The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 254,309 shares of the credit service provider worth $4,537,000 after buying an additional 129,500 shares last quarter. Finally, Twin Tree Management LP increased its position in Western Union shares by 901.5% during the fourth quarter. Twin Tree Management LP now owns 336,443 shares of the credit services provider worth $6,002,000 after buying an additional 302,850 shares in the last quarter. 97.43% of the shares are currently held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Western Union (Get an assessment)

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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Analyst recommendations for Western Union (NYSE: WU)

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