The Western Union Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (WU)

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 3,073 put options on the company. This is an increase of 2,827% compared to the typical volume of 105 put options.

WU has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price objective for the company in a report on Saturday, July 7th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $21.00 price objective on shares of The Western Union in a report on Friday, August 3rd. ValuEngine cut The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on The Western Union in a report on Tuesday, July 17th. They issued an “underperform” rating for the company. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the company. The Western Union currently has a consensus rating of “Sell” and a consensus price target of $18.92.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of The Western Union during the second quarter valued at approximately $109,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Western Union during the first quarter valued at approximately $180,000. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL acquired a new position in shares of The Western Union during the second quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Bourne Lent Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Western Union during the second quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Finally, Foster & Motley Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Western Union during the second quarter valued at approximately $207,000.

NYSE WU opened at $17.91 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.95. The Western Union has a twelve month low of $17.57 and a twelve month high of $22.21. 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 released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The credit services provider reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.43 billion. The Western Union had a negative return on equity of 560.31% and a negative net margin of 8.05%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.50 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that The Western Union will post 1.86 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 28th. Investors of record on Friday, September 14th were issued a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.24%. The Western Union’s payout ratio is 42.22%.

The Western Union Company Profile

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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