Equities research analysts expect Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) to report earnings per share of $3.20 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have made estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $4.18 and the lowest estimate coming in at $2.44. Willis Towers Watson posted earnings of $3.71 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 13.7%. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, May 3rd.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will report full-year earnings of $9.75 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $9.35 to $10.10. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $10.85 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $10.27 to $11.18. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Willis Towers Watson.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.99 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 11.25% and a net margin of 6.93%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.88 EPS.
Several research firms recently weighed in on WLTW. Wells Fargo reissued a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research cut Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. Goldman Sachs raised Willis Towers Watson from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $153.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, March 15th. MKM Partners lifted their price target on Willis Towers Watson to $190.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, March 19th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $170.50.
In other Willis Towers Watson news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,438 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.95, for a total value of $1,509,608.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,041 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,525,457.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 6.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 1.5% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,024,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,209,269,000 after purchasing an additional 121,446 shares during the last quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 8.3% in the 4th quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 6,146,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $926,174,000 after purchasing an additional 468,525 shares during the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 2,094,250 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $315,583,000 after purchasing an additional 10,502 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.3% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,635,349 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $246,431,000 after purchasing an additional 179,146 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lyrical Asset Management LP increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 4.0% in the 4th quarter. Lyrical Asset Management LP now owns 1,557,049 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $234,632,000 after purchasing an additional 60,355 shares during the last quarter. 93.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
NASDAQ:WLTW traded down $2.35 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $146.15. 501,882 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 534,008. The stock has a market cap of $19,634.11, a P/E ratio of 17.17, a PEG ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a current ratio of 1.82, a quick ratio of 1.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. Willis Towers Watson has a fifty-two week low of $125.66 and a fifty-two week high of $165.00.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Shareholders of record on Saturday, March 31st will be issued a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This is a boost from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.64%. Willis Towers Watson’s payout ratio is currently 28.20%.
Willis Towers Watson declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Monday, February 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
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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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