The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) stock fell -2.97% on Friday to $16.02 against a previous-day closing price of $16.51. With 3.61 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 3.44 million shares. During the session, the Credit Services company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $16.53 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $16.14. The 52-week range on WU shows that it touched its highest point at $22.41 and its lowest point at $15.30 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $18.28. With its current market cap of 6.12 billion, WU has annualized dividend of $0.94 while the current yield stands at 5.87%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.90.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of WU was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -2.91%, but this was down by -5.21% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -7.98% while six-month performance fell -20.26%. The stock lost -28.26% in the past year, while it has lost -10.20% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for WU yields 2.23 with Next year EPS estimates of 1.83. For the next quarter, that number is 0.39. This implies an EPS growth rate of 9.90% for this year and 1.16% for next year. EPS is expected to decline by -2.74% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 30.90%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 386.70 million WU shares are outstanding with a float of 383.08 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 28, 2022, short shares totaled 32.82 million, which was 8.51% higher than short shares on Jun 29, 2022. In addition to Mr. Devin B. McGranahan as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Director, Mr. Rajesh K. Agrawal serves as its Chief Financial Officer.
Through their ownership of 102.40% of WU’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 63.99% of WU, in contrast to 39.50% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 1.82%. As the largest shareholder in WU with 13.19% of the stake, BlackRock Fund Advisors holds 50,934,206 shares worth 50,934,206. A second-largest stockholder of WU, The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 41,371,327 shares, controlling over 10.72% of the firm’s shares. Capital Research & Management Co is the third largest shareholder in WU, holding 22,216,699 shares or 5.76% stake. With a 4.14% stake in WU, the American Mutual Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 15,985,438 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.95% of WU stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 11,403,574 shares valued at 194.09 million. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF holds 2.91% of the stake in WU, owning 11,231,223 shares worth 191.16 million.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for WU since 21 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 1 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 6 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 12 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 1 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 1 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With WU analysts setting a high price target of $22.00 and a low target of $14.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $17.70. Based on these targets, WU could surge 37.33% to reach the target high and fall by -12.61% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 10.49% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. WU will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/09/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $1.84 being high and $1.75 being low. For WU, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $1.81. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. The Western Union Company surprised analysts by $0.09 when it reported $0.51 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.42. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.08. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.68 and the low estimate is $0.35. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.40.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded WU stock several times over the past three months with 1 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 83,893 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 26 while that of sell transactions has risen to 22 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 680,771 while 99,807 shares were sold.