Will Western Union (WU) Stock be Hurt by Suspending Greek Operations?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Western Union (WU) shares are flat at $20.61 in early market trading on Monday after the money transfer service announced that it was shuttering operations in Greece for the rest of this week, according to Reuters.

Western Union said that it has not seen an uptick in money moving out of the country, but that it did see a rise in funds going into the country over the last two months.

"Our inbound business is seeing an upswing and we will continue to monitor this closely as and when our business in Greece is operational once gain," the company told Reuters today.

The move comes amid the Greek debt crisis that continues to unfold as the country announced that it closed its banks Sunday in an effort to prevent a collapse.

The European Central Bank also said Sunday that it will provide no new emergency support for Greek banks after the country's government decided to pull out of bail out negotiations of Friday.

Greek officials said that banks will remain closed through July 6 with withdrawals limited to 60 euros per day.

The Greek stock exchange is also to remain closed until July 6.

TheStreet Ratings team rates WESTERN UNION CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WESTERN UNION CO (WU) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • WESTERN UNION CO has improved earnings per share by 5.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WESTERN UNION CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.59 versus $1.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.63 versus $1.59).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the IT Services industry average. The net income increased by 0.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $203.00 million to $203.90 million.
  • 46.41% is the gross profit margin for WESTERN UNION CO which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.43% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WU Ratings Report

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