William Blair Equities Analysts Lower Earnings Estimates for Willis Towers Watson (WLTW)

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) – Analysts at William Blair dropped their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, April 4th. William Blair analyst A. Klauber now expects that the financial services provider will post earnings per share of $4.07 for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $4.08. William Blair currently has a “Market Perform” rating on the stock. William Blair also issued estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s Q3 2018 earnings at $1.39 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $2.35 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $9.57 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $10.64 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $11.56 EPS.

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Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.11 by $0.10. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 6.93% and a return on equity of 11.25%. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.99 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.88 EPS. Willis Towers Watson’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis.

WLTW has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 target price (up previously from $172.00) on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Sunday, February 18th. Janney Montgomery Scott restated a “hold” rating on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Tuesday, March 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Finally, Wells Fargo restated a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $170.50.

WLTW opened at $148.50 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 1.82 and a current ratio of 1.82. Willis Towers Watson has a fifty-two week low of $125.66 and a fifty-two week high of $165.00. The firm has a market cap of $19,597.09, a P/E ratio of 17.45, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.88.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 35,604 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,492,000 after acquiring an additional 330 shares during the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 3rd quarter worth about $225,000. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 2.0% in the 3rd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 20,269 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,139,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 7.2% in the 3rd quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 17,293 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,668,000 after buying an additional 1,165 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AMP Capital Investors Ltd increased its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 37,415 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,771,000 after buying an additional 542 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.75% of the company’s stock.

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 shares were sold at an average price of $159.95, for a total value of $1,509,608.10. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,041 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,525,457.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Willis Towers Watson announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Monday, February 26th that allows the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared 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. This is an increase from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s payout ratio is currently 28.20%.

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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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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