Zacks: Analysts Anticipate The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) to Post $0.46 EPS

Brokerages forecast that The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) will post $0.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have issued estimates for The Western Union’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.49 and the lowest estimate coming in at $0.41. The Western Union reported earnings of $0.44 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 4.5%. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, May 4th.

On average, analysts expect that The Western Union will report full year earnings of $2.06 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.05 to $2.08. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $2.27 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.19 to $2.35. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for The Western Union.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 9th. The credit services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. The Western Union had a net margin of 12.38% and a negative return on equity of 1,029.12%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.38 earnings per share.

Several analysts have issued reports on WU shares. Citigroup boosted their price objective on The Western Union from $24.00 to $25.50 in a report on Thursday, February 11th. Guggenheim upgraded The Western Union from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 8th. Barclays increased their price objective on The Western Union from $20.00 to $23.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 16th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded The Western Union from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $25.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on The Western Union from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 11th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The Western Union has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $23.84.

Shares of NYSE WU opened at $25.40 on Wednesday. The Western Union has a twelve month low of $17.56 and a twelve month high of $25.73. The company has a market capitalization of $10.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.52, a PEG ratio of 0.47 and a beta of 0.88. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $24.56 and a two-hundred day moving average of $22.70.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 17th were issued a $0.235 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 16th. This represents a $0.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.70%. This is an increase from The Western Union’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. The Western Union’s payout ratio is currently 54.34%.

In other The Western Union news, insider Khalid Fellahi sold 16,895 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.84, for a total transaction of $402,776.80. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 160,764 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,832,613.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Andrew Summerill sold 2,806 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.75, for a total value of $69,448.50. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 324,677 shares of company stock worth $7,760,531. 1.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WU. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of The Western Union by 10.7% during the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,031,188 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $22,624,000 after acquiring an additional 99,644 shares in the last quarter. Westpac Banking Corp boosted its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 132.3% in the 4th quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 315,942 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $6,932,000 after acquiring an additional 179,914 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 24.5% in the 4th quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 3,601,832 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $79,024,000 after acquiring an additional 708,810 shares during the last quarter. TD Ameritrade Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in The Western Union during the fourth quarter valued at $40,000. Finally, Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its holdings in The Western Union by 7.4% during the fourth quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 99,164 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $2,176,000 after purchasing an additional 6,797 shares in the last quarter.

The Western Union Company Profile

The Western Union Co is a holding company, which engages in the provision of money transfer and payment services. It operates through the following segments: Consumer-to-Consumer; Business Solutions; and Other. The Consumer-to-Consumer segment facilitates money transfers between two consumers. The Business Solutions segment offers payment and foreign exchange solutions, cross-border, cross-currency transactions, for small and medium size enterprises and other organizations and individuals.

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Earnings History and Estimates for The Western Union (NYSE:WU)

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