Western Union (NYSE:WU) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Western Union (NYSE:WUGet Rating) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $20.00 target price on the credit services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 6.55% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Western Union's shares have outperformed the industry in the past year. Expanding its digital platform and taking initiatives to streamline business will drive long-term growth at the company. Implementing its new Global Strategy, designed to drive efficiency, profitability, and long-term revenue growth is praiseworthy. These initiatives are expected to generate annual cost savings of approximately $150 million by 2022. Western Union’s strategic partnerships are expected to boost its footprint in the remittance space. However, its high debt level and lower cash balance remain a concern. Also, increasing competition in the remittance space continues to affect its profits. The firm expects adjusted earnings per share for 2022 within $1.90-$2, indicating a massive decline from $2.19 in 2021. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.”

Several other research firms have also weighed in on WU. UBS Group started coverage on Western Union in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “neutral” rating and a $19.00 price target on the stock. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of Western Union in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Bank of America downgraded Western Union from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $25.00 to $20.00 in a report on Thursday, January 6th. Citigroup dropped their target price on shares of Western Union from $25.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $15.50 target price on shares of Western Union in a report on Friday, March 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $20.54.

WU opened at $18.77 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 8.46. The stock has a market cap of $7.30 billion, a PE ratio of 9.53 and a beta of 0.90. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $18.58 and its 200 day simple moving average is $18.54. Western Union has a 52 week low of $15.69 and a 52 week high of $26.61.

Western Union (NYSE:WUGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 10th. The credit services provider reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.11. Western Union had a net margin of 15.89% and a return on equity of 291.68%. The business had revenue of $1.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.45 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Western Union will post 1.94 earnings per share for the current year.

Western Union declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 10th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the credit services provider to purchase up to 13.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WU. AXS Investments LLC purchased a new position in Western Union in the third quarter worth $303,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd boosted its holdings in Western Union by 24.5% in the third quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 74,089 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $1,498,000 after acquiring an additional 14,581 shares in the last quarter. AMG National Trust Bank acquired a new stake in Western Union in the third quarter worth about $2,780,000. Vontobel Holding Ltd. acquired a new stake in Western Union in the third quarter worth about $222,000. Finally, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise boosted its holdings in Western Union by 26.9% in the third quarter. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise now owns 176,452 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $3,568,000 after acquiring an additional 37,400 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.88% of the company’s stock.

Western Union Company Profile (Get Rating)

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 and sub-agents; and offers international cross-border transfers and intra-country transfers, as well as money transfer transactions through websites and mobile devices.

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