The Western Union’s (WU) “Hold” Rating Reaffirmed at Zacks Investment Research

The Western Union (NYSE:WU)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by Zacks Investment Research in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Western Union’s third-quarter 2018 operating earnings per share of 54 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.33%. However, the bottom line declined by a cent year over year. Western Union’s shares have declined in a year's time comparing unfavorably against its industry’s gain. Its Consumer to Consumer segment remains attractive and investment in technology bode well for growth. A strong balance sheet position and accretion from business improvement initiatives are the other positives. However, its Business Solutions unit has been underperforming, creating a drag on revenues. The company has been facing high compliance-related and restructuring charges, which weigh on its margins. The company is faced with a number of global economic headwinds, including foreign exchange volatility weakness in some of the economies, which have been limiting its profitability. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on WU. Barclays assumed coverage on shares of The Western Union in a research report on Wednesday. They set an “underweight” rating and a $18.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine cut shares of The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. Wells Fargo & Co cut shares of The Western Union from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $20.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 price objective on shares of The Western Union in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $19.17.

Shares of The Western Union stock traded up $0.13 during trading on Friday, reaching $18.89. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,761,097 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,601,050. The Western Union has a 52 week low of $17.40 and a 52 week high of $22.21. The stock has a market cap of $8.36 billion, a PE ratio of 10.49, a PEG ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 1.01.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The credit services provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.04. The Western Union had a negative net margin of 8.55% and a negative return on equity of 194.60%. The business had revenue of $1.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.43 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.53 earnings per share. The Western Union’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that The Western Union will post 1.92 EPS for the current year.

In other The Western Union news, EVP Sheri Rhodes sold 2,175 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.02, for a total transaction of $41,368.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 51,775 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $984,760.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in The Western Union during the second quarter worth about $109,000. FIL Ltd acquired a new position in The Western Union during the third quarter worth about $158,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. raised its stake in The Western Union by 121.2% during the third quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 9,290 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $177,000 after acquiring an additional 5,091 shares in the last quarter. Bourne Lent Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in The Western Union during the second quarter worth about $203,000. Finally, Foster & Motley Inc. acquired a new position in The Western Union during the second quarter worth about $207,000.

The Western Union Company Profile

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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