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UPDATE 1-Western Union profit falls 27 pct as costs increase

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 | 4:37 PM ET

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Western Union Co, the world's largest money-transfer company, reported a slightly weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as competition intensifies and regulatory expenses rise.

Shares of the company, which also forecast full-year earnings in line with analyst estimates and announced a $500 million share buyback, fell 4 percent after the bell.

Western Union said on Tuesday it expected earnings of $1.40 to $1.50 per share in 2014 on low to mid-single digit percentage revenue growth on a constant-currency basis.

The company's net income fell 27 percent to $173.4 million, or 31 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $237.9

million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell

marginally to $1.42 billion.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 32 cents per share on revenue of $1.43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Western Union shares closed at $15.88 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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