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Western Union (NYSE:WU) Has Affirmed Its Dividend Of US$0.23

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The board of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) has announced that it will pay a dividend of US$0.23 per share on the 30th of June. This means the annual payment is 5.3% of the current stock price, which is above the average for the industry.

See our latest analysis for Western Union

Western Union's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings

Impressive dividend yields are good, but this doesn't matter much if the payments can't be sustained. Prior to this announcement, Western Union's dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This means that a large portion of its earnings are being retained to grow the business.

Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to fall by 7.6% over the next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio could be 46%, which we consider to be quite comfortable, with most of the company's earnings left over to grow the business in the future.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Western Union Has A Solid Track Record

The company has a sustained record of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. Since 2012, the first annual payment was US$0.32, compared to the most recent full-year payment of US$0.94. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 11% a year over that time. It is good to see that there has been strong dividend growth, and that there haven't been any cuts for a long time.

The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow

The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. Western Union has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 38% per annum. The company doesn't have any problems growing, despite returning a lot of capital to shareholders, which is a very nice combination for a dividend stock to have.

We Really Like Western Union's Dividend

In summary, it is good to see that the dividend is staying consistent, and we don't think there is any reason to suspect this might change over the medium term. The company is generating plenty of cash, and the earnings also quite easily cover the distributions. We should point out that the earnings are expected to fall over the next 12 months, which won't be a problem if this doesn't become a trend, but could cause some turbulence in the next year. All in all, this checks a lot of the boxes we look for when choosing an income stock.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, Western Union has 2 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.