Cantillon Capital Management LLC lessened its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 2.1% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,415,021 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 52,606 shares during the quarter. Willis Towers Watson makes up about 4.7% of Cantillon Capital Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest position. Cantillon Capital Management LLC owned 1.87% of Willis Towers Watson worth $462,573,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 25.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,787,793 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,894,875,000 after buying an additional 2,212,567 shares during the period. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC raised its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 19,054.0% in the 2nd quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC now owns 603,734 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $60,373,000 after buying an additional 600,582 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.3% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,517,708 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $442,236,000 after buying an additional 276,226 shares during the period. Argent Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 1st quarter worth $38,642,000. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 9.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,797,811 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $272,568,000 after buying an additional 153,229 shares during the period. 91.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on WLTW shares. SunTrust Banks increased their target price on Willis Towers Watson from $210.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group raised their price objective on Willis Towers Watson from $202.00 to $220.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Willis Towers Watson from $208.00 to $215.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Raymond James reissued a “strong-buy” rating and issued a $200.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, April 13th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $200.58.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.78 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.76 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $2.05 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 13.00% and a net margin of 9.86%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.70 earnings per share. As a group, analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 10.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 15th. Investors of record on Sunday, June 30th were paid a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 27th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.34%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.72%.
About Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company operates as an advisory, broking, and solutions company worldwide. The company's Human Capital and Benefits segment offers 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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