AMP Capital Investors Ltd cut its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 7.5% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 34,615 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 2,800 shares during the quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd’s holdings in Willis Towers Watson were worth $5,215,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the fourth quarter worth $149,000. Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the fourth quarter worth $192,000. Capital Wealth Planning LLC acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the third quarter worth $204,000. Dean Capital Investments Management LLC acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the fourth quarter worth $201,000. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the fourth quarter worth $217,000. 93.75% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research analysts have weighed in on WLTW shares. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, February 5th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $175.00 to $187.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, February 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and set a $172.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Wells Fargo restated a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $168.67.
Shares of Willis Towers Watson stock opened at $162.80 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $21,524.77, a PE ratio of 38.95, a PEG ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a quick ratio of 1.82, a current ratio of 1.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. Willis Towers Watson has a 1-year low of $125.66 and a 1-year high of $165.00.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.99 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 6.93% and a return on equity of 11.25%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.88 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.9 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Saturday, March 31st will be issued a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.47%. This is an increase from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.72%.
Willis Towers Watson announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Monday, February 26th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,437 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.94, for a total value of $1,509,353.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 22,040 shares in the company, valued at $3,525,077.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 6.70% 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.
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