The Western Union Company ($WU), the sponsor of the Denver Nuggets uniforms, has an earnings call tomorrow. According to Zacks Investment Research, based on analysts' forecasts, the consensus EPS forecast for the quarter is $0.43.
That expectation and how the company is doing is all relatively on the level, but Western Union secretly has some of the strangest behavior we've ever seen within our data. It calls into question a lot of things going on with the company, and we can break it down for you.
First though, the normal stuff:
Western Union's stock is sky high, or mile-high, since the company is based in Denver. That's because WU can't stop growing and hiring; even the great LinkedIn purge of last year that we keep talking about hasn't really impacted the total headcount.
Things start to get a little weird when you look at the giant dip in job openings, and then the way it bounces back so quickly to near peak levels. In 2017, there were nearly 500 positions available on Western Union's website. Then it dropped to almost nothing, and in six months it's back up to 450 now.
Now for the odd data that caught our eye: social media. At any given point in time, the number of Twitter followers naturally goes down, except for very specific cases of sudden additions. From December 2015 to September 2016 there's a staircase shape to the line graph, as if Western Union did something wild. And then in one month's time, they added 162,000 new fans.
Turns out, they didn't buy an army of robots, they actually just expanded their business into China and Mexico, and added a new app for Canada. Western Union has been bleeding followers ever since, and unless there's a sudden urge to follow them on Twitter, or another mob scene of robots love sending money to other robots, that number will just chill there for the time being.
And there it is again! Western Union gained almost 3 million likes to its profile in a matter of weeks last summer! The same stepping staircase model can be seen as the Twitter chart, as if Western Union did something special to gain a lot of attention and goodwill. Turns out.....
We have Liverpool to thank for that massive interest in Western Union's Facebook presence. The club won last year, and has been posting about it nonstop. While the team signed a deal with Western Union years ago, it wasn't until now where it paid off for WU online. Now imagine if the Denver Nuggets won the NBA championship, Western Union would be swimming in new followers all over the place.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.