Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Western Union Company (The) (NYSE:WU) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Monday. The firm currently has $22.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Western Union’s third-quarter 2017 earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and grew year over year, led by revenue growth. 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 and 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 a year, the stock has underperformed the industry. Nevertheless, the stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.3% upward over the last seven days. The company is faced with increasing competition, high compliance costs, global headwinds and foreign exchange volatility.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on WU. Mizuho reaffirmed a sell rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of Western Union Company (The) in a research note on Sunday, October 15th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Western Union Company (The) in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on Western Union Company (The) from $21.00 to $22.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on Western Union Company (The) from $17.00 to $17.50 and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Friday. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Western Union Company (The) from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Friday. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Western Union Company (The) has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $20.14.

Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) traded down $0.27 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $19.16. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,408,674 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,290,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.98, a current ratio of 1.00 and a quick ratio of 1.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $8,970.00, a PE ratio of 10.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 1.01. Western Union Company has a 1 year low of $18.39 and a 1 year high of $22.70.

Western Union Company (The) (NYSE:WU) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The credit services provider reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.39 billion. Western Union Company (The) had a return on equity of 116.85% and a net margin of 3.83%. Western Union Company (The)’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.46 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Western Union Company will post 1.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, EVP Jean Claude Farah sold 17,518 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.50, for a total value of $359,119.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 139,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,859,750. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WU. PGGM Investments raised its holdings in shares of Western Union Company (The) by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 1,713,369 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $32,897,000 after buying an additional 6,772 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Western Union Company (The) by 219.4% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 174,463 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $3,324,000 after buying an additional 119,846 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Western Union Company (The) by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,064,100 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $20,271,000 after buying an additional 14,830 shares during the period. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its holdings in Western Union Company (The) by 10.3% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 303,283 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $5,777,000 after purchasing an additional 28,308 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Western Union Company (The) by 15.7% during the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 327,285 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $6,234,000 after purchasing an additional 44,443 shares during the last quarter.

About Western Union Company (The)

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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