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

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors acquired 4,857 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 839% compared to the typical daily volume of 517 put options.

In other The Western Union news, EVP Jean Claude Farah sold 50,813 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 $3,275,783. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Amintore Schenkel sold 15,600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 83,931 shares of company stock worth $1,794,643. 1.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. PGGM Investments grew its stake in The Western Union by 0.4% during the third quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 1,713,369 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $32,897,000 after acquiring an additional 6,772 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in The Western Union by 219.4% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 174,463 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $3,324,000 after acquiring an additional 119,846 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC grew its stake in The Western Union by 94.5% during the third quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 22,160 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $425,000 after acquiring an additional 10,765 shares in the last quarter. PVG Asset Management Corp purchased a new position in The Western Union during the third quarter valued at $269,000. Finally, Polaris Capital Management LLC grew its stake in The Western Union by 2.2% during the second quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 1,442,816 shares of the credit services provider’s stock valued at $27,486,000 after acquiring an additional 31,400 shares in the last quarter.

Several research analysts have weighed in on WU shares. ValuEngine upgraded shares of The Western Union from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. 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 research report on Monday, November 6th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $19.00 price objective on shares of The Western Union in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Susquehanna Bancshares raised shares of The Western Union from a “negative” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Finally, UBS Group raised shares of The Western Union to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.59.

The Western Union (WU) opened at $21.12 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $9,700.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.00. The Western Union has a 52 week low of $18.39 and a 52 week high of $22.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.98, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.00.

The Western Union (NYSE:WU) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The credit services provider reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.39 billion. The Western Union had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 137.89%. The Western Union’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.46 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that The Western Union will post 1.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Monday, December 18th were paid a dividend of $0.175 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 15th. This represents a $0.70 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.31%. The Western Union’s payout ratio is 152.17%.

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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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