Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Brokerages

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) has received an average rating of “Buy” from the sixteen brokerages that are covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have given a hold recommendation and ten have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $170.00.

WLTW has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. BidaskClub raised Willis Towers Watson from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, January 6th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $172.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. William Blair downgraded Willis Towers Watson from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on Willis Towers Watson from $175.00 to $187.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Goldman Sachs raised Willis Towers Watson from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $153.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) traded up $0.52 on Friday, hitting $162.80. The stock had a trading volume of 741,991 shares, compared to its average volume of 427,859. Willis Towers Watson has a 52 week low of $125.66 and a 52 week high of $165.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.82 and a quick ratio of 1.82. The stock has a market cap of $21,524.77, a P/E ratio of 38.95, a PEG ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.88.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.10. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 11.25% and a net margin of 6.93%. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.99 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.88 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.9 earnings per share for the current year.

Willis Towers Watson declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Monday, February 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st will be paid a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.47%. This is an increase from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.72%.

In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,438 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.95, for a total value of $1,509,608.10. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,041 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,525,457.95. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $149,000. Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $192,000. Dean Capital Investments Management LLC bought a new position in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. Capital Wealth Planning LLC bought a new position in Willis Towers Watson in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $204,000. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC bought a new position in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter worth approximately $217,000. 93.75% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Willis Towers Watson Company Profile

Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (Willis Towers Watson) is a holding company. The Company operates as a global advisory, broking and solutions company. It is engaged in offering risk management, insurance broking, consulting, technology and solutions, and private exchanges. The Company operates through eight segments: Willis International; Willis North America; Willis Capital, Wholesale & Reinsurance (CWR); Willis GB; Towers Watson Benefits; Towers Watson Exchange Solutions; Towers Watson Risk and Financial Services; and Towers Watson Talent and Rewards.

Analyst Recommendations for Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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