Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) Downgraded to Market Perform at William Blair

William Blair lowered shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note published on Tuesday, January 16th, MarketBeat.com reports.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on WLTW. Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating and set a $167.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a sell rating and set a $124.00 target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. SunTrust Banks reissued a buy rating and set a $182.00 target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Barclays increased their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $171.00 to $174.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $160.29.

Shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) opened at $154.60 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 1.97 and a current ratio of 1.97. Willis Towers Watson has a 52 week low of $120.87 and a 52 week high of $165.00. The stock has a market cap of $20,319.45, a P/E ratio of 59.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 0.90.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The financial services provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.13 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $1.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.84 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 4.43% and a return on equity of 10.93%. Willis Towers Watson’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.04 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson will post 8.41 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, December 31st were given a dividend of $0.53 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 81.85%.

In other news, CFO Michael J. Burwell bought 3,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $160.10 per share, for a total transaction of $496,310.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now directly owns 3,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $496,310. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Jeffrey W. Ubben sold 320,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.15, for a total transaction of $51,568,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 0.8% in the second quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC now owns 6,852 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $997,000 after purchasing an additional 56 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 11.8% in the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 693 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 73 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.1% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 694 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 0.5% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 20,820 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,027,000 after purchasing an additional 94 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 0.3% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 35,274 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,132,000 after purchasing an additional 102 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.34% of the company’s stock.

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About Willis Towers Watson

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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