Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) released its quarterly earnings data on Friday. The financial services provider reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.19, MarketWatch Earnings reports. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 9.96% and a net margin of 5.65%. The company had revenue of $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.88 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. Willis Towers Watson’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. Willis Towers Watson updated its FY 2018 guidance to $10.12-10.32 EPS and its FY18 guidance to $10.12-10.32 EPS.
Shares of NASDAQ:WLTW opened at $152.39 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.50, a PEG ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 2.29 and a current ratio of 2.29. Willis Towers Watson has a 52-week low of $134.50 and a 52-week high of $164.99.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Sunday, September 30th were given a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 27th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. Willis Towers Watson’s payout ratio is 28.20%.
In other Willis Towers Watson news, insider Adam Garrard sold 1,830 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $146.77, for a total value of $268,589.10. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 13,739 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,016,473.03. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. Allianz Asset Management GmbH boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 5.3% in the first quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 42,543 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,475,000 after purchasing an additional 2,127 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 21.0% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 31,538 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,779,000 after purchasing an additional 5,480 shares during the last quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 9.9% in the second quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 39,530 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,993,000 after purchasing an additional 3,549 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC purchased a new position in Willis Towers Watson in the second quarter worth about $238,000. Finally, Clarkston Capital Partners LLC boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 2.6% in the second quarter. Clarkston Capital Partners LLC now owns 966,692 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $146,551,000 after purchasing an additional 24,157 shares during the last quarter. 92.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research firms recently commented on WLTW. BidaskClub downgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Willis Towers Watson from $175.00 to $183.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 28th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $166.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $155.00 price objective on Willis Towers Watson and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $171.46.
Willis Towers Watson Company Profile
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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