Research Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Changes for Willis Towers Watson (WLTW)

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) has recently received a number of price target changes and ratings updates:

  • 12/1/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $176.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Willis Towers has outperformed the industry quarter to date. The company is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies and tax efficiencies besides unlocking the balance sheet capacity. Focus on realizing operational efficiencies, investing in new growth avenues and strengthening its client services bode well for the company. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive and helps leverage strength to penetrate deeper into the markets and expand its international presence. Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $10.12 and $10.32 (raised from the $9.88-$10.12 band), organic revenue growth of about 4% and EBITDA to be around 25% in 2018. However, escalating expenses, rising debt-level and an adverse forex remain its key concerns.”
  • 11/26/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Willis Towers has outperformed the industry quarter to date. The company is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies and tax efficiencies besides unlocking the balance sheet capacity. Focus on realizing operational efficiencies, investing in new growth avenues and strengthening its client services bode well for the company. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive and helps leverage strength to penetrate deeper into the markets and expand its international presence. Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $10.12 and $10.32 (raised from the $9.88-$10.12 band), organic revenue growth of about 4% and EBITDA to be around 25% in 2018. However, escalating expenses, rising debt-level and an adverse forex remain its key concerns.”
  • 11/21/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $175.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Willis Towers has outperformed the industry quarter to date. The company is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies and tax efficiencies besides unlocking the balance sheet capacity. Focus on realizing operational efficiencies, investing in new growth avenues and strengthening its client services bode well for the company. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive and helps leverage strength to penetrate deeper into the markets and expand its international presence. Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $10.12 and $10.32 (raised from the $9.88-$10.12 band), organic revenue growth of about 4% and EBITDA to be around 25% in 2018. However, escalating expenses, rising debt-level and an adverse forex remain its key concerns.”
  • 11/17/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. They now have a $180.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Willis Towers has outperformed the industry quarter to date. The company is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies and tax efficiencies besides unlocking the balance sheet capacity. Focus on realizing operational efficiencies, investing in new growth avenues and strengthening its client services bode well for the company. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive and helps leverage strength to penetrate deeper into the markets and expand its international presence. Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $10.12 and $10.32 (raised from the $9.88-$10.12 band), organic revenue growth of about 4% and EBITDA to be around 25% in 2018. However, escalating expenses, rising debt-level and an adverse forex remain its key concerns.”
  • 11/14/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its price target raised by analysts at Morgan Stanley from $171.00 to $180.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 11/7/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 11/6/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its price target raised by analysts at Raymond James from $175.00 to $180.00. They now have a “strong-buy” rating on the stock.
  • 11/5/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its price target raised by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co from $155.00 to $160.00. They now have a “market perform” rating on the stock.
  • 11/2/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was given a new $155.00 price target on by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 10/13/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 10/12/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was given a new $165.00 price target on by analysts at Citigroup Inc. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 10/8/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating. They now have a $166.00 price target on the stock.

Shares of NASDAQ WLTW traded down $0.90 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $160.24. 37,040 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 810,972. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 1.86 and a current ratio of 1.86. The company has a market capitalization of $20.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 0.77. Willis Towers Watson PLC has a one year low of $134.50 and a one year high of $164.99.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.11 by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.88 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 10.15% and a net margin of 6.84%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 9.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.50%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.20%.

In related news, insider Nicolas Aubert sold 16,762 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.00, for a total transaction of $2,681,920.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 25,482 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,077,120. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Julie Jarecke Gebauer sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.15, for a total value of $1,601,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 29,212 shares of company stock valued at $4,664,542 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson during the 2nd quarter valued at $103,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 3,261.4% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 28,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 27,559 shares during the period. Landaas & Co. WI ADV purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the second quarter worth $167,000. Edgestream Partners L.P. purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the third quarter worth $213,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 74.4% in the second quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 1,444 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $219,000 after purchasing an additional 616 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.80% of the company’s stock.

Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company operates as an advisory, broking, and solutions company worldwide. Its Human Capital and Benefits segment provides 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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