Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the nineteen brokerages that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $176.43.
Several brokerages have recently commented on WLTW. BidaskClub lowered shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $180.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Saturday, November 17th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $155.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, November 5th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $166.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $171.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 14th.
Shares of WLTW stock traded up $0.44 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $153.79. The company had a trading volume of 17,907 shares, compared to its average volume of 972,764. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 1.86 and a current ratio of 1.86. Willis Towers Watson has a fifty-two week low of $134.50 and a fifty-two week high of $164.99. The firm has a market cap of $19.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 0.74.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.21. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 10.15%. The firm had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.88 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.12 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 28th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.56%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.20%.
In other Willis Towers Watson news, insider Nicolas Aubert sold 16,762 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.00, for a total value of $2,681,920.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 25,482 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,077,120. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Julie Jarecke Gebauer sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.15, for a total transaction of $1,601,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 29,212 shares of company stock worth $4,664,542. 0.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. Capital International Investors purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $333,788,000. Capital World Investors purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $41,042,000. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC increased its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 45.1% in the 3rd quarter. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC now owns 803,773 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $113,284,000 after purchasing an additional 249,742 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.1% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,571,861 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $221,538,000 after buying an additional 169,377 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clarkston Capital Partners LLC grew its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 15.5% in the 3rd quarter. Clarkston Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,116,405 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,346,000 after buying an additional 149,713 shares during the last quarter. 91.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company operates as an advisory, broking, and solutions company worldwide. Its Human Capital and Benefits segment provides actuarial support, plan design, and administrative services for traditional pension and retirement savings plans; plan management consulting, broking, and administration services for health and group benefit programs; and benefits outsourcing services.
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