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

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Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fourteen research firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $206.70.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on WLTW. BidaskClub upgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 21st. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $225.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Sunday, November 24th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd.

WLTW stock traded down $0.26 during trading on Friday, reaching $201.76. 261,103 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 511,681. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $194.84 and its 200 day moving average is $193.15. Willis Towers Watson has a twelve month low of $146.35 and a twelve month high of $206.29. The company has a current ratio of 1.41, a quick ratio of 1.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The firm has a market cap of $25.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.81.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.01. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 13.01% and a net margin of 10.07%. The business had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.98 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.32 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson will post 10.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be paid a $0.65 dividend. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 30th. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.72%.

In other Willis Towers Watson news, CAO Anne Donovan Bodnar sold 36,557 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $192.99, for a total transaction of $7,055,135.43. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 67,002 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,930,715.98. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Joseph Gunn sold 3,214 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $185.59, for a total transaction of $596,486.26. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 18,436 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,421,537.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 42,461 shares of company stock worth $8,160,220 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 16,189,692 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,100,974,000 after buying an additional 556,935 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 0.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,008,856 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,683,255,000 after acquiring an additional 80,260 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 7.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,548,315 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,211,963,000 after acquiring an additional 760,522 shares during the period. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 12.2% in the second quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 6,702,733 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,283,841,000 after purchasing an additional 729,906 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 0.7% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 4,319,792 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $827,413,000 after purchasing an additional 28,279 shares during the last quarter. 92.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Willis Towers Watson Company Profile

Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company operates as an advisory, broking, and solutions company worldwide. The company's Human Capital and Benefits segment offers 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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Analyst Recommendations for Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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