Analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) will report $2.26 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $2.13 billion to $2.41 billion. Willis Towers Watson reported sales of $2.32 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 2.6%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd.
On average, analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will report full year sales of $8.46 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $8.41 billion to $8.52 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will report sales of $8.76 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $8.65 billion to $8.86 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Willis Towers Watson.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the 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 return on equity of 11.25% and a net margin of 6.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.88 EPS.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on WLTW shares. BidaskClub upgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, January 6th. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $172.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. William Blair downgraded Willis Towers Watson from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $170.64.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,437 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.94, for a total transaction of $1,509,353.78. Following the sale, the insider now owns 22,040 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,525,077.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $149,000. Calton & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $192,000. Dean Capital Investments Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $201,000. Advisor Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $217,000. Finally, BancorpSouth Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $266,000. 93.60% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of WLTW stock traded down $1.28 on Thursday, hitting $151.41. 512,265 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 541,923. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 1.82 and a current ratio of 1.82. The company has a market capitalization of $20,049.41, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.79, a PEG ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.88. Willis Towers Watson has a one year low of $127.76 and a one year high of $165.00.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st were issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This is a boost from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.59%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is 28.20%.
Willis Towers Watson announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Monday, February 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
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About Willis Towers Watson
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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