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What's in the Cards for Western Union's (WU) Q1 Earnings?

Zacks Equity Research

The Western Union Company WU is slated to report first-quarter 2020 results on May 5, after the closing bell.

Q1 Estimates   

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter revenues is pegged at $1.2 billion, suggesting a decline of 9.2% from the prior-year quarter.

The same for earnings per share stands at 41 cents, indicating growth of 5.1% from the year-ago reported figure.

Key Factors to Note

The company’s business may have remained unaffected by the COVID-19 breakout through the mid of March except in China and Italy. Nevertheless, the rapid spread of the coronavirus-led disease across regions in which the company operates, is likely to have hurt business volumes.

The temporary suspension of activities in several places resulted in lower consumer and commercial operations across multiple markets and also led to closure of some Western Union Agent locations. Western Union is likely to have witnessed business weaknesses in its retail money transfer segment in the latter half of March owing to ramped-down activities. These conditions are likely to get reflected in the first-quarter performance.

Nevertheless, its digital money transfer business continued to register strong transaction growth through late March as people preferred contactless dealings to physical proximity as a preventive measure to avoid being infected. Catering to more than 75 countries and additional territories, the company’s westernunion.com platform is also likely to have benefited from this scenario and thus, generated substantial business in the quarter to be reported.

Further, the company’s Business Solutions segment, which contributed nearly 7% of 2019 revenues, has been consistently delivering solid results so far. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Business Solutions segment’s first-quarter revenues is pegged at $97 million, indicating an improvement of more than 1% from the year-ago reported figure.

Also, Western Union’s first-quarter results are likely to reflect the impact of strengthening of the dollar against the Argentine peso.

The company is likely to have witnessed softer revenues at its Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) segment. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter 2020 revenues at C2C segment is pegged at $1 billion, suggesting a decline of nearly 2% from the prior-year quarter. Reduced cross-border sends in Asia Pacific and fall in U.S. domestic money transfer are likely to have led to the decline.

Other revenues, which primarily consist of retail bill payments businesses in the United States and Argentina, are expected to have declined in the to-be-reported quarter. The divestitures of the Speedpay and Paymap businesses in May of last year are likely to have weighed on the results of Other segment’s revenues.

Additionally, continued share buybacks by virtue of its sound capital position are likely to have driven Western Union’s performance in the to-be-reported quarter.

The Western Union Company Price and EPS Surprise

The Western Union Company Price and EPS Surprise

The Western Union Company price-eps-surprise | The Western Union Company Quote

Earnings Surprise History

The company has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 5.19%, on average.

What Our Quantitative Model Predicts

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Western Union this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.

Earnings ESP: Western Union has an Earnings ESP of -1.11%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Western Union carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some stocks worth considering from the finance sector with a perfect combination of elements to surpass estimates in the upcoming quarterly releases are as follows:

Virtu Financial, Inc. VIRT has a Zacks Rank of 1 and an Earnings ESP of +39.67%.

Repay Holdings Corporation RPAY has an Earnings ESP of +2.27% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Green Dot Corporation GDOT has an Earnings ESP of +3.83% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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The Western Union Company (WU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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