The Western Union (WU) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Western Union’s shares have declined in a year's time comparing unfavorably against its industry’s gain. 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. Its Consumer to Consumer segment remains attractive and investment in technology bodes well for growth. A strong balance sheet position and accretion from business improvement initiatives are the other positives. Its International business also holds promise.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of The Western Union in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. ValuEngine lowered The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on The Western Union in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. They issued an “underperform” rating for the company. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a hold rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $18.93.

WU stock traded down $0.31 on Monday, reaching $17.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 154,916 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,966,584. The Western Union has a 12-month low of $18.08 and a 12-month high of $22.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.93, a PEG ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -7.38.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The credit services provider reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by ($0.01). The Western Union had a negative return on equity of 560.31% and a negative net margin of 8.05%. The business had revenue of $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.43 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.50 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that The Western Union will post 1.86 earnings per share for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in shares of The Western Union by 2.6% during the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,519,524 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $30,892,000 after buying an additional 39,000 shares during the last quarter. Natixis boosted its position in shares of The Western Union by 210.4% during the second quarter. Natixis now owns 847,306 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $17,226,000 after buying an additional 574,322 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Western Union by 5.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 42,924,736 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $872,659,000 after buying an additional 2,103,385 shares during the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC boosted its position in shares of The Western Union by 5,076.6% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 72,007 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,464,000 after buying an additional 70,616 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Western Union by 1.3% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,122,135 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $63,474,000 after buying an additional 39,378 shares during the last quarter.

About The Western Union

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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