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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Brunswick, Western Union, MoneyGram International, Visa and Fiserv

BC WU MGI V FISV

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 8, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Brunswick Corporation (BC - Snapshot Report)-Free Report), Western Union Co. ((WU - Analyst Report)-Free Report), MoneyGram International Inc. ((MGI - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Visa Inc. ((V - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Fiserv, Inc. ((FISV - Analyst Report)-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Brunswick Selling Yacht Brands

A manufacturer of recreational and lifestyle products Brunswick Corporation (BC - Snapshot Report)-Free Report) recently completed the sale of its sportfishing convertible yacht brands, Hatteras and Cabo to Navis HCY Acquisition. Navis HCY Acquisition is an affiliate of Philadelphia investment firm Versa Capital Management LLC.

Brunswick purchased Hatteras Yachts in 2001 and Cabo in 2006 and announced its intention to sell these brands in Jan 2013. Following this divestiture, the company expects to focus on its remaining core yatch brands which now include the Sea Ray and Meridan brands.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, the two brands will continue to operate from New Bern and retain their current workforce.

Brunswickhas been consistently reviewing and refining its product portfolio and trying to focus its resources on core brands. In Jul 2010, Brunswick sold its Triton Boats to Fishing Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Platinum Equity. By selling its non-core brands, Brunswick tries to maintain its leadership position in the recreational and fishing boat markets.

Late last month, Brunswick announced its second quarter results. The company delivered an adjusted profit of $1.23 per share in the second quarter of 2013, up 18% from the prior-year quarter. Earnings were also better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.08 per share by 13.9%.

Revenues in the quarter edged up 4%, led by growth in outboard marine products, marine parts and accessories, fitness equipment and U.S. retail bowling. Improved operating efficiencies and cost reduction measures improved gross margin by 60 basis points.

WU Strengthens Network in Europe

In an effort to solidify its agent network in U.S. and Europe, Western Union Co. ((WU - Analyst Report)-Free Report) has renewed its agreement with affiliates of Axcess Financial, a financial service provider.  Its affiliates Check ‘n Go and Cheque Centre will continue to provide service to customers.

Check ‘n Go is a U.S.-based small dollar lender for short-term. Cheque Centre is one of the UK’s leading alternative retail financial services companies with stores throughout Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Western Union will continue to provide money transfer service via more 1000 locations of Check ‘n Go in the U.S. Other services like money order, and bill payment services will also be provided.

In the U.K., Western Union will provide money transfer service via Cheque Centre in more than 500 locations. 

Western Union already has a significant presence in both Europe as well as U.S. Another money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc. ((MGI - Analyst Report)-Free Report) is also actively present in these regions.

Western Union is aggressively expanding its agent locations in order to gain a greater market share in the global money transfer market. Its total agent locations increased 10,000 year over year to 520,000 as of end of the second quarter of 2013.

In order to gain market share, Western Union is also developing other new age technology offerings such westernunion.com, prepaid, mobile and online transfer via banks.  

These initiatives undertaken by Western Union will ramp up its growth profile going forward.

Western Union currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other players providing money transfer facility across the globe are Visa Inc. ((V - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Fiserv, Inc. ((FISV - Analyst Report)-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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