The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) Receives Consensus Rating of “Hold” from Analysts

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) has received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the seventeen brokerages that currently cover the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Six analysts rated the stock with a sell recommendation and eight gave the company a hold recommendation. The 12-month average price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock over the past year is $18.54.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on WU recently. Goldman Sachs Group lowered its price target on Western Union from $18.00 to $15.50 and placed a “sell” rating on the stock in a Monday, August 8 research note. Northland Securities lowered its price target on Western Union from $24.00 to $22.00 in a Thursday, August 4, research note. Wolfe Research downgraded Western Union from a “market performing” rating to an “underperforming” rating and lowered its price target for the stock from $20.00 to $17.00 in a report of research from Wednesday, July 20. Barclays cut its price target on Western Union from $17.00 to $12.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a Monday, September 26 research report. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered its price target on Western Union from $15.00 to $14.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a Thursday, Aug. 4 research report.

Western Union price performance

NYSE:WU opened at $13.84 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $15.17 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.70. The company has a market capitalization of $5.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.21 and a beta of 0.90. Western Union has a 52-week minimum of $13.30 and a 52-week maximum of $21.40. The company has a quick ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt ratio of 6.01.

Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Wednesday, August 3. The credit service provider reported earnings per share of $0.51 for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.10. The company posted revenue of $1.14 billion for the quarter, versus $1.14 billion for analysts. Western Union had a return on equity of 239.89% and a net margin of 18.27%. In the same quarter last year, the company posted EPS of $0.48. As a group, sell-side analysts expect Western Union to post 1.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Western Union Dividend Announcement

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 16 received a dividend of $0.235 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 15. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.94 and a dividend yield of 6.79%. Western Union’s dividend payout rate is 42.15%.

Institutional investors weigh in on Western Union

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their stake in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Western Union by 2.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,381,077 shares of the credit service provider worth $1,169,021,000 after purchasing an additional 1,678,722 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Western Union by 10.4% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 16,856,481 shares of the credit service provider worth $315,890,000 after buying an additional 1,592,331 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in Western Union by 9.5% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 10,386,720 shares of the credit service provider worth $194,647,000 after buying an additional 898,992 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its stake in Western Union by 5.5% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 8,028,118 shares of the credit services provider worth $150,447,000 after purchasing an additional 415,377 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Western Union by 6.9% in the 1st quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 6,905,500 shares of the credit service provider worth $129,409,000 after purchasing an additional 445,385 shares during the period. 97.38% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Western Union Company Profile

(Get a rating)

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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