AON (AON) Downgraded by Goldman Sachs Group

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Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of AON (NYSE:AON) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat reports. The firm currently has $163.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock, down from their prior target price of $171.00.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on AON. ValuEngine downgraded AON from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, December 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded AON from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, December 13th. Credit Suisse Group set a $158.00 price target on AON and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $165.00 price target on AON and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 12th. Finally, Raymond James raised AON from an underperform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $162.00.

Shares of AON stock traded down $1.78 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $145.85. 11,342 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,083,762. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a current ratio of 1.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.47, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 0.94. AON has a 12-month low of $133.41 and a 12-month high of $166.55.

AON (NYSE:AON) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $2.35 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.39 billion. AON had a return on equity of 43.96% and a net margin of 7.06%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.29 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that AON will post 8.13 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 1st will be issued a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 31st. AON’s payout ratio is currently 24.54%.

In other news, CEO Caroline Grace sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.00, for a total value of $640,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 41,796 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,687,360. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Waldron Private Wealth LLC boosted its holdings in shares of AON by 5.0% in the third quarter. Waldron Private Wealth LLC now owns 3,147 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $483,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares during the period. North Star Investment Management Corp. boosted its holdings in shares of AON by 7.8% in the fourth quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 2,712 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $394,000 after acquiring an additional 197 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co. boosted its holdings in shares of AON by 18.8% in the third quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 1,984 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $305,000 after acquiring an additional 314 shares during the period. Moody National Bank Trust Division acquired a new stake in shares of AON in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $49,000. Finally, Freestone Capital Holdings LLC boosted its holdings in shares of AON by 5.9% in the third quarter. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC now owns 6,172 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $949,000 after acquiring an additional 346 shares during the period. 84.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AON Company Profile

Aon plc provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Risk Solutions and HR Solutions. The Risk Solutions segment offers retail brokerage services, including affinity products, managing general underwriting, placement, captive management services, and data and analytics; risk management solutions for property liability, general liability, professional liability, directors' and officers' liability, transaction liability, cyber liability, workers' compensation, and various healthcare products; and health and benefits consulting services comprising structuring, funding, and administering employee benefit programs.

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