The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders purchased 575 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 688% compared to the typical daily volume of 73 put options.
WU has been the topic of several research reports. UBS Group upgraded shares of The Western Union to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of The Western Union from $17.00 to $17.50 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of The Western Union from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares raised shares of The Western Union from a “negative” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The Western Union currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.59.
In other news, EVP Jean Claude Farah sold 50,813 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.50, for a total transaction of $1,092,479.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 152,362 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,275,783. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Amintore Schenkel sold 15,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.99, for a total transaction of $343,044.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 93,694 shares in the company, valued at $2,060,331.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 83,931 shares of company stock worth $1,794,643. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV lifted its stake in The Western Union by 74.7% during the fourth quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 49,755 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $949,000 after purchasing an additional 21,270 shares during the last quarter. Sawyer & Company Inc bought a new position in The Western Union during the fourth quarter worth $355,000. Oak Point Wealth Management bought a new position in The Western Union during the fourth quarter worth $420,000. Hefty Wealth Partners lifted its stake in The Western Union by 3,066.9% during the fourth quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 45,698 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $869,000 after purchasing an additional 44,255 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in The Western Union by 7.4% during the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,716,140 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $32,950,000 after purchasing an additional 118,060 shares during the last quarter.
Shares of The Western Union (NYSE WU) opened at $21.18 on Friday. 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 Western Union has a 1 year low of $18.39 and a 1 year high of $22.25. The stock has a market cap of $9,730.00, a P/E ratio of 46.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.00.
The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The credit services provider reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.09. The Western Union had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 137.89%. The business had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.39 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.46 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that The Western Union will post 1.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 18th were given a dividend of $0.175 per share. This represents a $0.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.31%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 15th. The Western Union’s payout ratio is currently 152.17%.
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About The Western Union
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.
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