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 0.8%. By the end of trading, Western Union Company rose $0.20 (1.2%) to $16.65 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,998,157 shares of Western Union Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,384,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $16.44-$16.68 after having opened the day at $16.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.45. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: SmartPros ( SPRO), up 12.2%, National Research Corporation ( NRCIB), up 8.9%, ITT Educational Services ( ESI), up 8.8% and Hackett Group ( HCKT), up 7.3%.
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The Western Union Company provides money movement and payment services worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Consumer-to-Consumer, Consumer-to-Business, and Business Solutions. The Consumer-to-Consumer segment offers cash money transfer services involving walk-in agent locations. Western Union Company has a market cap of $9.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Western Union Company a buy, 3 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 negative front, ENGlobal Corporation ( ENG), down 7.9%, Cambium Learning Group ( ABCD), down 7.9%, Swisher Hygiene ( SWSH), down 7.0% and Universal Security Instruments ( UUU), down 4.7%.

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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