Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) has received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the sixteen ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $170.00.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on WLTW shares. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $172.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. ValuEngine lowered Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. BidaskClub lowered Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, December 22nd. William Blair lowered Willis Towers Watson from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, February 3rd.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,437 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.94, for a total transaction of $1,509,353.78. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 22,040 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,525,077.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Willis Towers Watson (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. The firm has a market capitalization of $21,524.77, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.82 and a quick ratio of 1.82. Willis Towers Watson has a 52 week low of $125.66 and a 52 week high of $165.00.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.11 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.99 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 11.25% and a net margin of 6.93%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.88 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Willis Towers Watson declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Monday, February 26th that permits the company to buyback $400.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.47%. This is a boost from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.72%.
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.
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