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

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 lower today making it today's featured Diversified Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Western Union Company fell 17 cents (-1.2%) to $14.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9.3 million shares of Western Union Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $13.93-$14.25 after having opened the day at $14.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.26. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that declined today were: Career Education Corporation ( CECO), down 9.3%, ITT Educational Services ( ESI), down 8.8%, American Public Education ( APEI), down 8%, and Education Management Corporation ( EDMC), down 7.7%.
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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 $7.98 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Western Union Company a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and 15 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 good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 22.7%, General Employment ( JOB), up 7.5%, Magal Security Systems ( MAGS), up 7.3%, and World Energy Solutions ( XWES), up 6.7%, were all gainers within the diversified services industry with SBA Communications ( SBAC) being today's featured diversified services industry leader.

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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