The Western Union (WU) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of The Western Union (NYSE:WU) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Western Union’s shares have underperformed its industry in a year’s time.  Its Business Solutions unit has not been performing well, creating a drag on revenues. Exposure to foreign exchange volatility will affect earnings somewhat. The company is also facing competition from new fintech companies that have entered the industry in the recent years. Its negative return on equity makes the stock unattractive.  Nevertheless, its consumer-to-consumer segment is going strong and investment in technology also bode well. The company’s growing share of revenues from digital platform is another positive. The business transformation program named Wu Way will further streamline its operations and lead to cost savings.”

Separately, ValuEngine lowered shares of The Western Union from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, February 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $20.00.

NYSE:WU opened at $19.24 on Friday. The Western Union has a 52 week low of $16.42 and a 52 week high of $21.37. The firm has a market cap of $8.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.02, a PEG ratio of 2.81 and a beta of 0.90.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The credit services provider reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49. The Western Union had a net margin of 15.24% and a negative return on equity of 225.33%. The company had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that The Western Union will post 1.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This is an increase from The Western Union’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.16%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 14th. The Western Union’s payout ratio is presently 41.67%.

In other The Western Union news, CFO Rajesh K. Agrawal sold 21,950 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.35, for a total transaction of $402,782.50. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 266,009 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,881,265.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Somerset Trust Co purchased a new position in The Western Union during the 1st quarter valued at $26,000. Ffcm LLC grew its position in shares of The Western Union by 50.0% in the 4th quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 1,695 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $29,000 after buying an additional 565 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of The Western Union by 76.0% in the 4th quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 1,853 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $32,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of The Western Union by 252.1% in the 4th quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 2,218 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $38,000 after buying an additional 1,588 shares during the period. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in shares of The Western Union by 1,585.7% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 851,158 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $50,000 after buying an additional 800,665 shares during the period.

About The Western Union

The Western Union Company provides money movement 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. This segment offers international cross-border transfers and intra-country transfers, as well as money transfer transactions through Websites and mobile devices.

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