Equities research analysts expect that The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) will announce earnings of $0.49 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have issued estimates for The Western Union’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.47 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.50. The Western Union posted earnings per share of $0.41 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 19.5%. The firm is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report after the market closes on Thursday, February 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that The Western Union will report full year earnings of $1.92 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.91 to $1.93. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $1.94 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.88 to $1.97. Zacks’ EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for The Western Union.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The credit services provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by $0.04. The Western Union had a negative return on equity of 194.60% and a negative net margin of 8.55%. The firm had revenue of $1.39 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.43 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.53 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded The Western Union from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. Barclays assumed coverage on The Western Union in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods assumed coverage on The Western Union in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. They issued a “market perform” rating on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded The Western Union from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have given a hold rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $19.20.

Shares of WU stock traded up $0.01 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $17.53. 216,910 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,036,793. The Western Union has a 1 year low of $16.42 and a 1 year high of $21.37. The company has a market capitalization of $7.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 1.00.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 31st. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th were paid a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 14th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.34%. The Western Union’s payout ratio is currently 42.22%.

In other The Western Union news, EVP Sheri Rhodes sold 2,175 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.02, for a total transaction of $41,368.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 51,775 shares in the company, valued at approximately $984,760.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Caroline Tsai sold 2,440 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.51, for a total value of $45,164.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 43,244 shares in the company, valued at $800,446.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 23,324 shares of company stock worth $425,914 in the last 90 days. 1.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WU. First Hawaiian Bank lifted its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 31.1% during the 4th quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 26,433 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $451,000 after buying an additional 6,266 shares during the period. Polaris Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 10.7% during the 3rd quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 2,029,128 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $38,675,000 after buying an additional 196,812 shares during the period. Standard Life Aberdeen plc lifted its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 281,840 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $5,374,000 after buying an additional 12,961 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 608.4% during the 3rd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 413,488 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $7,881,000 after buying an additional 355,117 shares during the period. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in shares of The Western Union during the 3rd quarter valued at $787,000.

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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