Western Union Co. (WU:US), the world’s biggest money-transfer business, plunged the most since its 2006 spinoff from First Data Corp. after cutting its full-year profit forecast for 2013.
Western Union dropped 29 percent to $12.73 today in New York and has declined 30 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Operating income could fall 10 percent to 15 percent next year from 2012 levels as a result of initiatives geared toward adding customers, investing in digital technology and cutting costs, the Englewood, Colorado-based company said yesterday in a statement. Third-quarter net income, excluding integration expenses, was 46 cents per share, 1 cent higher than the average estimate (WU:US) of 28 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“Our sharply lower 2013 and 2014 revenue and earnings-per- share estimates reflect management’s decision to reduce price in key corridors in an effort to regain share,” Andrew Jeffrey, an analyst at SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI:US), said today in a note as he downgraded Western Union to neutral from buy. “Some competitive pressure is coming from new entrants, while much is likely from traditional participants.”
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