Investors Purchase High Volume of Put Options on The Western Union (WU)

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) saw unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors acquired 4,857 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 839% compared to the average daily volume of 517 put options.

In other news, EVP Jean Claude Farah sold 50,813 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.50, for a total value 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Amintore Schenkel sold 15,600 shares of the firm’s 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 completion of 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. 1.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,834,190 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $796,941,000 after purchasing an additional 926,405 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in The Western Union by 0.6% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 36,024,158 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $691,663,000 after buying an additional 222,786 shares in the last quarter. Clarkston Capital Partners LLC lifted its position in The Western Union by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. Clarkston Capital Partners LLC now owns 9,139,401 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $173,740,000 after buying an additional 94,611 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management lifted its position in The Western Union by 6.3% during the 4th quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 8,203,357 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $155,945,000 after buying an additional 483,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in The Western Union by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 7,227,131 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $137,677,000 after buying an additional 45,302 shares in the last quarter.

Shares of The Western Union (NYSE:WU) traded down $0.41 during trading on Friday, reaching $20.28. 6,410,135 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,319,297. 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 12-month low of $18.39 and a 12-month high of $22.21. The company has a market cap of $9,314.44, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.96, a PEG ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.05.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on WU shares. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $17.00 target price on shares of The Western Union in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Susquehanna Bancshares raised shares of The Western Union from a “negative” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of The Western Union from $17.00 to $17.50 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $19.85.

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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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