Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Western Union Company (The) (NYSE:WU) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Western Union’s strategic investments in new products, services and technology are likely to pave the way for long-term growth. Relentless focus on expansion of customer base, creation of digital infrastructure to boost the electronic channels business should also fuel growth. The company’s wide agent network and strong international business are also impressive. In last one year, the stock has underperformed the industry. Nevertheless, the stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 3% upward over the last 60 days. The company is faced with increasing competition, high compliance costs, global headwinds and foreign exchange volatility..”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on WU. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on Western Union Company (The) from $21.00 to $22.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Mizuho began coverage on Western Union Company (The) in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. They set an underperform rating and a $16.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine upgraded Western Union Company (The) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday. Stifel Nicolaus restated a hold rating and set a $20.00 price target (up from $19.00) on shares of Western Union Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Western Union Company (The) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $20.38.

Western Union Company (WU) traded down 0.66% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $19.52. 2,515,673 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $9.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 50.18 and a beta of 1.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $19.00 and its 200 day moving average is $19.29. Western Union Company has a one year low of $18.39 and a one year high of $22.70.

Western Union Company (The) (NYSE:WU) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The credit services provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $1.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.37 billion. Western Union Company (The) had a return on equity of 92.41% and a net margin of 3.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.44 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Western Union Company will post $1.77 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.175 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.70 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.59%. Western Union Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 179.49%.

In other Western Union Company (The) news, EVP John David Thompson sold 23,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.12, for a total value of $472,820.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 129,650 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,608,558. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Fiduciary Trust Co. purchased a new position in Western Union Company (The) in the second quarter worth about $121,000. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. purchased a new position in Western Union Company (The) in the second quarter worth about $129,000. Financial Architects Inc boosted its position in Western Union Company (The) by 2.1% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 6,951 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $132,000 after purchasing an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in Western Union Company (The) by 3.1% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 7,836 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $149,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Western Union Company (The) by 3.1% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 7,482 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $152,000 after purchasing an additional 224 shares during the last quarter.

Western Union Company (The) Company Profile

The Western Union Company (Western Union) is a provider of money movement and payment services. The Company operates through three segments: Consumer-to-Consumer, Consumer-to-Business and Business Solutions. The Company’s Consumer-to-Consumer segment facilitates money transfers between two consumers, primarily through a network of third-party agents.

Analyst Recommendations for Western Union Company (The) (NYSE:WU)

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