Western Union Company (WU): Today's Featured Diversified Services Winner

Western Union Company ( WU) pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today making it today's featured diversified services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Western Union Company rose 28 cents (1.5%) to $18.57 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.4 million shares of Western Union Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.26-$18.67 after having opened the day at $18.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.29. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: Pointer Telocation ( PNTR), up 15.4%, CAI International ( CAP), up 10.9%, Furmanite Corporation ( FRM), up 10.5%, and Fortune Brands Home & Security ( FBHS), up 9.2%.

The Western Union Company provides money movement and payment services worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Consumer-to-Consumer and Global Business Payments. Western Union Company has a market cap of $11.28 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.6, equal to the average diversified services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Western Union Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Western Union Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Fortune Industries ( FFI), down 14.3%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), down 13.5%, Teamstaff ( TSTF), down 9.4%, and VistaPrint ( VPRT), down 8.8%, were all losers within the diversified services industry with HMS Holdings Corporation ( HMSY) being today's diversified services industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the diversified services industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the diversified services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).
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