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Western Union's (WU) Q3 Earnings Beat Estimates, Rise Y/Y

Western Union Co.’s WU third-quarter 2021 earnings per share of 63 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.62%. The bottom line grew 10.5% year over year.

Total revenues of $1.29 billion improved 2% year over year but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.81%. Top-line growth was led by the digital money transfer, which continued to deliver double-digit growth, and the Business Solutions segment, partially offset by the retail money transfer due to the slow pace of economic recovery.

In its largest segment Consumer to consumer (C2C) (87% of total revenues), revenues were flat on a reported basis or declined 1% in constant currency while transactions dipped 1% during the quarter. Cross-border money transfer revenues rose 1% year over year.

Western Union made investments in its digital platform to stay ahead in the fast-changing remittance market. Its vast electronic platform built over the years, helped it during the pandemic-borne crisis when people turned away from its brick-and-mortar stores to send money to their families online. During the quarter, digital money transfer revenues increased 14% at cc and represented 24% and 37% of total C2C revenues and transactions, respectively.

The Western Union Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

The Western Union Company price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | The Western Union Company Quote

That the company’s mobile app is being widely used is evident from the 8% rise in its average monthly active users. Data provided by the mobile app marketing firm Sensor Tower showed that was the most downloaded mobile app among its peer money transfer companies during the third quarter.

Western Union Business Solutions revenues surged 31% on a reported basis or 28% at cc. This growth came on the back of increased payment services activity and the education vertical as the business grew over the impact of COVID-19. Other revenues, which consist primarily of retail bill payments in the United States and Argentina as well as money orders, increased 3%.

Guidance Update

The company updated its financial outlook for 2021, which was previously issued on Aug 4. GAAP and constant currency revenue guidances were revised to reflect the recent business trends and macroeconomic conditions. Additionally, projected EPS ranges were narrowed with the adjusted EPS revised to the higher end of the prior-guided range while GAAP EPS was revised slightly downward to reflect the deferred taxes related to the pending sale of Business Solutions.

The outlook provided assumes that the macroeconomic environment in the fourth quarter will be similar to the third-quarter scenario.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Western Union carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other companies in the same space include Adyen ADYEY, Pag Seguro Digital PAGS and Repay RPAY, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present.

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