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GuruFocus has detected 4 Warning Signs with The Western Union Co \$WU.
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The Western Union Co (NYSE:WU)
Gross Profit
\$2,153 Mil (TTM As of Dec. 2016)

The Western Union Co's gross profit for the three months ended in Dec. 2016 was \$526 Mil. The Western Union Co's gross profit for the trailing twelve months (TTM) ended in Dec. 2016 was \$2,153 Mil.

Gross Margin is calculated as gross profit divided by its revenue. The Western Union Co's gross profit for the three months ended in Dec. 2016 was \$526 Mil. The Western Union Co's revenue for the three months ended in Dec. 2016 was \$1,372 Mil. Therefore, The Western Union Co's Gross Margin for the quarter that ended in Dec. 2016 was 38.34%.

The Western Union Co had a gross margin of 38.34% for the quarter that ended in Dec. 2016 => Competition eroding margins

During the past 13 years, the highest Gross Margin of The Western Union Co was 43.61%. The lowest was 39.70%. And the median was 42.15%.

Warning Sign:

The Western Union Co gross margin has been in long term decline. The average rate of decline per year is -1.7%.

Definition

Gross Profit is the different between the sale prices and the cost of buying or producing the goods.

The Western Union Co's Gross Profit for the fiscal year that ended in Dec. 2016 is calculated as

 Gross Profit (A: Dec. 2016 ) = Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold = 5422.9 - 3270 = 2,153

The Western Union Co's Gross Profit for the quarter that ended in Dec. 2016 is calculated as

 Gross Profit (Q: Dec. 2016 ) = Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold = 1371.7 - 845.8 = 526

The Western Union Co Gross Profit for the trailing twelve months (TTM) ended in Dec. 2016 was 518.3 (Mar. 2016 ) + 553.8 (Jun. 2016 ) + 554.9 (Sep. 2016 ) + 525.9 (Dec. 2016 ) = \$2,153 Mil.

Gross Profit is the numerator in the calculation of Gross Margin:

The Western Union Co's Gross Margin for the quarter that ended in Dec. 2016 is calculated as

 Gross Margin (Q: Dec. 2016 ) = Gross Profit (Q: Dec. 2016 ) / Revenue (Q: Dec. 2016 ) = (Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold) / Revenue = 526 / 1371.7 = 38.34 %

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

A positive Gross Profit is only the first step for a company to make a net profit. The gross profit needs to be big enough to also cover related labor, equipment, rental, marketing/advertising, research and development and a lot of other costs in selling the products.

Explanation

Warren Buffett believes that firms with excellent long term economics tend to have consistently higher margins.

Durable competitive advantage creates a high Gross Margin because of the freedom to price in excess of cost. Companies can be categorized by their Gross Margin

1. Greater than 40% = Durable competitive advantage
2. Less than 40% = Competition eroding margins
3. Less than 20% = no sustainable competitive advantage
Consistency of Gross Margin is key

The Western Union Co had a gross margin of 38.34% for the quarter that ended in Dec. 2016 => Competition eroding margins

Related Terms

Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

The Western Union Co Annual Data

 Dec07 Dec08 Dec09 Dec10 Dec11 Dec12 Dec13 Dec14 Dec15 Dec16 Gross_Profit 2,092 2,189 2,209 2,214 2,389 2,471 2,307 2,310 2,284 2,153

The Western Union Co Quarterly Data

 Sep14 Dec14 Mar15 Jun15 Sep15 Dec15 Mar16 Jun16 Sep16 Dec16 Gross_Profit 600 578 549 584 582 569 518 554 555 526
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