Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Aon plc Class A (AON) to Strong Sell

Aon plc Class A (NYSE:AON) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Aon’s shares have underperformed the industry in the last six months. The company’s rising level of debt continues to bother. This results in increased interest expenses that weigh on the bottom line. Also, Aon’s geographically diversified operations are exposed to foreign currency fluctuations. However, its core business strengthening initiatives, efficient capital deployment, strong cash flow position and cost savings from its restructuring programs bode well for long-term growth. The company has recently divested its non-core HR BPO business to Blackstone in order to streamline its core operations.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Aon plc Class A from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and set a $154.00 price objective on shares of Aon plc Class A in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Aon plc Class A in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $149.00 price objective for the company. Barclays lifted their price objective on Aon plc Class A from $135.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on Aon plc Class A from $138.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aon plc Class A currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $144.69.

Shares of Aon plc Class A (NYSE:AON) opened at $135.18 on Thursday. Aon plc Class A has a 12-month low of $109.82 and a 12-month high of $152.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 2.35 and a current ratio of 2.35. The stock has a market cap of $33,756.18, a P/E ratio of 20.01, a PEG ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.04.

Aon plc Class A (NYSE:AON) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.01. Aon plc Class A had a net margin of 16.78% and a return on equity of 32.71%. The company had revenue of $2.34 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.29 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Aon plc Class A will post 6.52 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Aon plc Class A news, CEO Eric Andersen sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $143.52, for a total value of $1,435,200.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO John Zern sold 17,680 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $139.79, for a total value of $2,471,487.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 27,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,871,484.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 41,680 shares of company stock valued at $5,903,887 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC raised its holdings in Aon plc Class A by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC now owns 35,221 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,720,000 after acquiring an additional 956 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC raised its holdings in Aon plc Class A by 183.6% in the 3rd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 160,987 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $23,520,000 after acquiring an additional 104,220 shares during the last quarter. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd acquired a new position in Aon plc Class A in the 3rd quarter valued at $9,570,000. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its holdings in Aon plc Class A by 4.6% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 495,651 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $72,415,000 after acquiring an additional 21,667 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC acquired a new position in Aon plc Class A in the 3rd quarter valued at $121,000. Institutional investors own 87.54% of the company’s stock.

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About Aon plc Class A

Aon plc (Aon) is a global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing, delivering distinctive client value via risk management and workforce productivity solutions. The Company operates in two segments: Risk Solutions and Human Resource (HR) Solutions.

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