Brokers expect The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) to report earnings of $0.41 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Six analysts made estimates of Western Union earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.40 to $0.45. Western Union reported earnings of $0.48 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative 14.6% year-over-year growth rate. The company is expected to release its next results on Monday, January 1.
On average, analysts expect Western Union to report annual earnings of $1.80 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.76 to $1.85. For next year, analysts expect the company to report earnings of $1.95 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.85 to $2.00. Zacks EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts who cover Western Union.
Western Union (NYSE:WU – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, April 28. The credit services provider reported EPS of $0.51 for the quarter, beating analyst consensus estimates 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 $1.16 billion for analysts. During the same period a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $0.44. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.5% from the same quarter last year.
A number of equity research analysts have weighed in on WU shares. Citigroup downgraded Western Union shares from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a target price of $20.00 for the company. in a research note from Friday, April 29. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Western Union from a “sell” to a “hold” rating and set a price target of $20.00 on the stock in a Thursday, April 14 report. Wolfe Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a price target of $21.00 on Western Union shares in a Friday, March 25 report. UBS Group launched Western Union coverage in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They set a “neutral” rating and a target price of $19.00 on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its price target on Western Union from $20.00 to $19.00 in a Friday, April 29 research report. Four research analysts have assigned the stock a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has assigned the company’s stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.96.
NYSE WU traded at $0.31 midday on Wednesday, hitting $17.83. The stock recorded a trading volume of 63,483 shares, compared to an average volume of 3,300,565 shares. Western Union has a 1-year minimum of $15.69 and a 1-year maximum of $25.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.88 billion, a PE ratio of 7.85 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a fifty-day moving average price of $18.18 and a 200-day moving average price of $18.11. The company has a debt ratio of 7.18, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.98.
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 per share. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.94 and a yield of 5.27%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 15. Western Union’s dividend payout ratio is currently 41.41%.
Western Union announced that its board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, Feb. 10 that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion of outstanding stock. This repurchase authorization authorizes the credit service provider to repurchase up to 13.5% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback programs often indicate that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Major investors have recently increased or reduced their stakes in the company. Guggenheim Capital LLC increased its holdings of Western Union shares by 16.4% in Q3. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 325,334 shares of the credit services provider valued at $6,579,000 after acquiring 45,758 additional shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings of Western Union shares by 46.6% in the third quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 65,482 shares of the credit services provider valued at $1,323,000 after acquiring an additional 20,804 shares in the last quarter. Xponance Inc. increased its stake in Western Union shares to 90.1% in the 4th quarter. Xponance Inc. now owns 58,959 shares of the credit service provider valued at $1,052,000 after acquiring an additional 27,943 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings of Western Union shares by 162.5% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,429,917 shares of the credit service provider valued at $25,510,000 after acquiring an additional 885,273 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in Western Union shares by 277.2% in the 4th quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 526,419 shares of the credit services provider valued at $9,391,000 after acquiring 386,875 additional shares in the last quarter. 97.43% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors.
About Western Union (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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