The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the sixteen research firms that cover the business, MarketBeat reports. Five investment analysts gave the stock a sell rating, eight gave the company a hold rating and one gave the company a buy rating. The average 1-year price target among analysts who have covered the stock over the past year is $19.65.
Several research companies have recently commented on WU. UBS Group began covering Western Union in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “neutral” rating and a target price of $19.00 on the stock. Wolfe Research downgraded Western Union from a ‘market performer’ rating to an ‘underperformer’ rating and lowered its target price for the company from $20.00 to $17.00 in a research report Wednesday. . StockNews.com began covering Western Union in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “holding” rating on the stock. TheStreet downgraded Western Union from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a Tuesday, July 12 research report. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its price target on Western Union from $20.00 to $19.00 in a Friday, April 29 research report.
Institutional investors weigh in on Western Union
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Western Union shares by 2.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,381,077 shares of the credit service provider valued at $1,169,021,000 after acquiring an additional 1,678,722 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Western Union shares by 10.4% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 16,856,481 shares of the credit service provider valued at $315,890,000 after acquiring an additional 1,592,331 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in Western Union shares by 9.5% in Q1. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 10,386,720 shares of the credit services provider valued at $194,647,000 after acquiring an additional 898,992 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its stake in Western Union shares by 5.5% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 8,028,118 shares of the credit service provider valued at $150,447,000 after acquiring an additional 415,377 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group increased its stake in Western Union shares by 121.2% in the 4th quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 7,143,709 shares of the credit service provider valued at $127,444,000 after acquiring an additional 3,914,104 shares in the last quarter. 97.43% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors.
Western Union price performance
NYSE:WU opened at $16.73 on Friday. Western Union has a 12-month low of $15.30 and a 12-month high of $23.49. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $16.87 and its two-hundred-day moving average price is $17.89. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.98 and a leverage ratio of 7.18. The company has a market capitalization of $6.46 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 7.37 and a beta of 0.91.
Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released its results on Thursday, April 28. The credit services provider reported EPS of $0.51 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.07. Western Union had a return on equity of 269.10% and a net margin of 18.29%. The company posted revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $1.16 billion. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company earned $0.44 per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.5% year over year. On average, analysts expect Western Union to post 1.8 earnings per share for the current year.
Western Union announces dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30. Shareholders 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 yield of 5.62%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 15. Western Union’s payout rate is currently 41.41%.
Western Union Company 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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