Traders Purchase Large Volume of The Western Union Call Options (WU)

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Traders purchased 4,848 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 2,930% compared to the average daily volume of 160 call options.

In other news, EVP Jean Claude Farah sold 50,813 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.50, for a total transaction of $1,092,479.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 152,362 shares in the company, valued at $3,275,783. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed 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 on Monday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.99, for a total value of $343,044.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 93,694 shares of the company’s stock, 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.

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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WU. Assetmark Inc. boosted its holdings in The Western Union by 6,425.7% in the fourth quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 6,852 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $130,000 after purchasing an additional 6,747 shares during the period. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new position in The Western Union in the fourth quarter valued at $159,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in The Western Union in the third quarter valued at $186,000. Financial Counselors Inc. purchased a new position in The Western Union in the fourth quarter valued at $191,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in The Western Union in the fourth quarter valued at $196,000.

NYSE:WU opened at $18.65 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $8,768.01, a P/E ratio of 10.36, a P/E/G ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.02. The Western Union has a 12-month low of $18.38 and a 12-month high of $22.21. The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.17.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 13th. The credit services provider reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.40 billion. The Western Union had a negative net margin of 10.09% and a positive return on equity of 206.81%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that The Western Union will post 1.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 30th. Investors of record on Friday, March 16th were issued a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 15th. This is a positive change from The Western Union’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.08%. The Western Union’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 42.22%.

Several research firms have recently commented on WU. ValuEngine lowered The Western Union from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded The Western Union from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. TheStreet lowered The Western Union from a “b-” rating to a “c-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. William Blair restated a “market perform” rating on shares of The Western Union in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Finally, Mizuho upgraded The Western Union from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $16.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.50.

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The Western Union Company Profile

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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