Western Union cuts outlook on rising competition

(Reuters) - Western Union Co WU.N, the world's largest payment transfer company, cut its full-year forecast as rising competition and weak markets weigh on its business.

“Business was challenging, as soft global economic conditions, compliance related changes, and competitive pressures in certain money transfer corridors impacted revenues,” Chief Executive Hikmet Ersek said in a statement.

The company said it was planning to cut costs and save $30 million annually by 2014.

For the full year, it expects adjusted earnings of $1.65 to $1.68 per share. The company had previously forecast adjusted earnings of $1.73 to $1.77 per share for the year.

Western Union raised its share buyback plan to $750 million and its annual dividend by 25 percent to 50 cents.

Third-quarter net income rose to $269.5 million, or 45 cents per share, from $239.7 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company’s shares closed at $17.93 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Sharanya Hrishikesh in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty