In its latest set of earnings results, Western Union posted numbers that were, in part, hurt by foreign currency headwinds but saw strong performance in online segments.
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The company said that, for the fourth quarter of last year, earnings came in at $0.42 per share, flat with last year. That earnings figure came as revenues were down 2 percent to $1.4 billion over the same period, but holding currency constant, sales were up 3 percent.
Looking ahead, overall, Western Union said it looks for earnings this year of $1.58 t0 $1.70 per share, which includes currency and hedging activities that will shave $0.15 a share from the bottom line. That falls below the consensus estimate for the year of $1.72.
With continued movement to embrace digital at the expense of cash, Western Union said that WesternUnion.com consumer-to-consumer (C2C) revenue increased 21 percent, or 25 percent constant currency, which came on transaction growth of 28 percent. The total digital business represented 7 percent of total top line in the quarter.
The growth in the digital realms of the company far outpaced that of the overall C2C business, which fell 3 percent as reported but were up 2 percent in constant currency. Transactions overall were strong as measured by outlays that originated in the United States and were sent abroad. Elsewhere, consumer-to-business sales were up 4 percent in the year-over-year period, or 9 percent in constant currency, which Western Union said had been driven by the Argentina “walk-in” and the United States electronic bill payments segments.
In a statement accompanying the release, Hikmet Ersek, president and chief executive officer, said that Western Union is “advancing our long-term strategy. WesternUnion.com grew full-year money transfer revenues by 26 percent in constant currency terms and increased penetration to 34 countries, and we introduced WU ConnectSM, which enables leading third-party digital platforms to offer our money transfer services to their users. Our network now connects online and mobile channels with over 500,000 agent locations and more than 100,000 ATMs and kiosks and provides the capability to send money to over 1 billion accounts.”