OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 11.4% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 9,304 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 950 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc.’s holdings in Willis Towers Watson were worth $1,402,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson during the 4th quarter worth $149,000. Calton & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson during the 4th quarter worth $192,000. Capital Wealth Planning LLC purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson during the 3rd quarter worth $204,000. Dean Capital Investments Management LLC purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson during the 4th quarter worth $201,000. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Willis Towers Watson during the 4th quarter worth $217,000. 93.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
WLTW has been the subject of a number of research reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $172.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. William Blair cut shares of Willis Towers Watson from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $170.50.
NASDAQ:WLTW opened at $146.15 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.82 and a quick ratio of 1.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $19,693.60, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.17, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 0.88. 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 issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.11 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.99 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 6.93% and a return on equity of 11.25%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.88 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Saturday, March 31st will be paid a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This is a positive change from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is 28.20%.
Willis Towers Watson announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Monday, February 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,437 shares of the company’s 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 sale, the insider now owns 22,040 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,525,077.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.
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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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