Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) sees significant increase in short-term interest

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) benefited from a significant increase in overdraft interest during the month of November. As of November 30, there was short interest totaling 41,150,000 shares, an increase of 17.4% from the November 15 total of 35,060,000 shares. About 10.3% of stocks are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 5,790,000 shares, the short-term interest rate is currently 7.1 days.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the company. Caisse DE Dépôt ET Placement DU Québec increased its position in Western Union shares by 289.2% in the second quarter. Caisse DE Dépôt ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 369,449 shares of the credit service provider valued at $ 8,486,000 after purchasing an additional 274,532 shares in the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC strengthened its position in Western Union shares by 9.7% in the 3rd quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 352,018 shares of the credit service provider valued at $ 7,118,000 after purchasing an additional 31,061 shares in the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. strengthened its position in Western Union shares by 4.8% in the second quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. Now owns 225,188 shares of the credit services provider valued at $ 5,172,000 after purchasing an additional 10,368 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. strengthened its position in Western Union shares by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 51,872,736 shares of the credit service provider valued at $ 1,191,516,000 after purchasing an additional 298,893 shares during the last quarter. Finally, O Shares Investment Advisers LLC increased its stake in Western Union by 2.5% in the second quarter. O Shares Investment Advisers LLC now owns 19,632 shares of the credit service provider valued at $ 451,000 after acquiring 480 additional shares in the last quarter. 98.27% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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NYSE WU traded up $ 0.09 at midday on Monday, reaching $ 17.47. 118,874 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,999,339. The company has a leverage ratio of 7.74, a current ratio of 0.93, and a rapid ratio of 0 , 93. The company has a market cap of $ 7.02 billion, a PE ratio of 8.78 and a beta of 0.92. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $ 18.26 and its 200-day simple moving average is $ 20.95. Western Union has a 52 week low of $ 15.69 and a 52 week high of $ 26.61.

Western Union (NYSE: WU) last reported its results on Monday, November 1. The credit service provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $ 0.63 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $ 0.58 by $ 0.05. The company posted revenue of $ 1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $ 1.31 billion. Western Union recorded a return on equity of 311.01% and a net margin of 16.10%. In the same quarter of last year, the company achieved EPS of $ 0.57. On average, research analysts predict that Western Union will post 2.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 31. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 17 will receive a dividend of $ 0.235 per share. The ex-date of this dividend is Thursday, December 16. This represents an annualized dividend of $ 0.94 and a return of 5.38%. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.47%.

WU has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Citigroup downgraded Western Union from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a price target of $ 27.00 for the company in a research note on Monday, September 27. Susquehanna Bancshares lowered her price target on Western Union from $ 23.00 to $ 21.00 and rated the stock “neutral” in a research report published on Wednesday, November 3. Northland Securities reduced its target price on Western Union from $ 32.00 to $ 25 and established an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report released on Wednesday, November 3. Credit Suisse Group lowered its price target on Western Union from $ 23.00 to $ 19.00 and established an “underperformance” rating on the stock in a research report released on Wednesday, November 3. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Western Union from a “b-” rating to a “c +” rating in a research report released on Wednesday, November 24. Three investment analysts rated the stock with a sell rating, seven issued a conservation rating, and three gave the company a buy rating. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average “Hold” rating and a consensus target price of $ 22.73.

About Western Union

The Western Union Co is a holding company providing money transfer and payment services. It operates through the following segments: consumer to consumer; Business solutions; and other. The consumer-to-consumer segment facilitates money transfers between two consumers. The Business Solutions segment offers payment and currency solutions, cross-border and inter-currency transactions, for small and medium-sized businesses and other organizations and individuals.

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