The Western Union Company (WU) Short Interest Update

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) saw a significant growth in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 34,249,564 shares, a growth of 11.5% from the February 15th total of 30,726,095 shares. Approximately 7.9% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 5,451,218 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 6.3 days.

Shares of The Western Union stock opened at $18.35 on Friday. The Western Union has a 12 month low of $16.42 and a 12 month high of $21.37. The company has a market cap of $7.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.56, a PEG ratio of 2.68 and a beta of 0.90.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The credit services provider reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49. The Western Union had a negative return on equity of 225.33% and a net margin of 15.24%. The business had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.44 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.47 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that The Western Union will post 1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.36%. This is a boost from The Western Union’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The Western Union’s dividend payout ratio is presently 39.58%.

In other The Western Union news, CFO Rajesh K. Agrawal sold 21,950 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.35, for a total transaction of $402,782.50. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 266,009 shares in the company, valued at $4,881,265.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Monument Capital Management increased its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 10.4% in the fourth quarter. Monument Capital Management now owns 98,458 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $1,680,000 after purchasing an additional 9,251 shares during the last quarter. Jupiter Asset Management Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 83.4% in the third quarter. Jupiter Asset Management Ltd. now owns 11,775,000 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $224,432,000 after purchasing an additional 5,353,000 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of The Western Union in the third quarter valued at approximately $282,000. Bridgewater Associates LP increased its holdings in shares of The Western Union by 138.0% in the third quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 701,521 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $13,371,000 after purchasing an additional 406,786 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Diligent Investors LLC increased its stake in The Western Union by 15.4% during the fourth quarter. Diligent Investors LLC now owns 45,380 shares of the credit services provider’s stock worth $774,000 after acquiring an additional 6,060 shares during the last quarter. 99.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

WU has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of The Western Union in a research report on Saturday, November 17th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods assumed coverage on The Western Union in a report on Thursday, December 6th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised The Western Union from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $20.00.

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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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