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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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 0.7%. By the end of trading, Western Union Company rose 15 cents (1.1%) to $14.38 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6.1 million shares of Western Union Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $14.30-$14.43 after having opened the day at $14.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.23. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: SmartPros ( SPRO), up 15%, Taomee Holdings ( TAOM), up 12.7%, School Specialty ( SCHS), up 10.7%, and Innovaro ( INV), up 9.9%.
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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 $8.44 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of seven, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Western Union Company a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and 17 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Western Union Company as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, VirtualScopics ( VSCP), down 12.2%, Learning Tree International ( LTRE), down 10.1%, Education Management Corporation ( EDMC), down 8.1%, and Brink's Company ( BCO), down 6.9%, were all laggards within the diversified services industry with Apollo Group ( APOL) being today's diversified services industry laggard.

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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