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What: Shares of money transfer giant Western Union (NYSE:WU) plunged 11% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street.
So what: The stock has soared over the past year on signs of rebounding demand, but today's third-quarter earnings plunge of 20%, coupled with a downbeat view of 2014, is forcing Mr. Market to quickly sober up. Management cited a spike in compliance costs and rapidly increasing competition for the disappointing report, suggesting Western Union's turnaround is far from complete.
Now what: Don't expect the regulatory headwinds to let up anytime soon. "Due to the compliance expenses as well as a potential impact from new compliance procedures we do not expect growth in operating profit in 2014 at this time," CEO Hikmet Ersek said on a conference call with analysts. When you couple that cost overhang with Western Union's still-red-hot stock price, the risk/reward at this point doesn't seem appealing.
Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Western Union. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.