Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) had its price target increased by SunTrust Banks to $192.00 in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning. SunTrust Banks currently has a buy rating on the financial services provider’s stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s Q4 2018 earnings at $2.75 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $4.09 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $2.07 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.66 EPS and Q4 2019 earnings at $3.08 EPS.
A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on WLTW. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs started coverage on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Monday, December 4th. They set a sell rating and a $153.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Barclays restated a buy rating and set a $172.00 price target 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 target 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 assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $171.08.
Shares of Willis Towers Watson stock opened at $151.51 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $20,032.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 0.88. Willis Towers Watson has a 52 week low of $125.66 and a 52 week high of $165.00. 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 also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st will be issued a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This is an increase from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.72%.
Willis Towers Watson declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Monday, February 26th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,437 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction on 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 transaction, the insider now owns 22,040 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,525,077.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 7.7% in the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 22,183 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,343,000 after acquiring an additional 1,594 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp grew its position in Willis Towers Watson by 10.3% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 67,816 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,219,000 after purchasing an additional 6,315 shares during the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC acquired a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter worth $344,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC grew its position in Willis Towers Watson by 22.2% in the 4th quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 2,889 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $436,000 after purchasing an additional 524 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Financial Advocates Investment Management acquired a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter worth $545,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.73% of the company’s stock.
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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