Western Union Q3 earnings up 12.4 pct.

Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Western Union Co. said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings jumped 12.4 percent, aided by more foreign-exchange revenue and strong online business.

Net income was $269.5 million, or 45 cents per share, in the July-September quarter, up from $239.7 million, or 38 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2011.

Western Union's services are widely used by people who wire money to their families in other countries.

Overall third-quarter revenue edged up 1 percent, to $1.42 billion. Consumer-to-consumer transactions, which account for about 80 percent of Western Union's revenue, declined 4 percent, to $1.15 billion.

Foreign-exchange revenue increased 15 percent, to $338.5 million.

The company noted the weak global economy and competition for money transfer business.

Looking ahead, Western Union estimated full-year 2012 earnings at $1.60 to $1.63 per share, down from a previous projection of $1.68 to $1.72 per share.

Western Union also announced a fourth-quarter dividend 12.5 cents per share, payable on Dec. 31 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17. That's an increase from 10 cents per share in the third quarter.

In addition the company's board authorized new share repurchases of up to $550 million, expiring on Dec. 31, 2013.

In a management change, Western Union said that Stewart Stockdale, president of the Global Consumer Financial Services division, has left the company.

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