Barclays reissued their buy rating on shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) in a report released on Sunday, February 18th. Barclays currently has a $195.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock, up from their prior target price of $172.00.
A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on WLTW. BidaskClub cut shares of Willis Towers Watson from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a sell rating and set a $124.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating and set a $167.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They set a sell rating and a $153.00 price target on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $168.67.
Shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ WLTW) traded down $0.86 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $161.53. 316,934 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 576,199. Willis Towers Watson has a 1 year low of $125.66 and a 1 year high of $165.00. The company has a market capitalization of $21,460.00, a PE ratio of 34.37, a PEG ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a current ratio of 1.82, a quick ratio of 1.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43.
Willis Towers Watson announced that its Board of Directors has approved 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 purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.49%. This is a positive change from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 45.11%.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,437 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.94, for a total transaction of $1,509,353.78. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,040 shares in the company, valued at $3,525,077.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Capital Fund Management S.A. acquired a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at $4,129,000. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 17.8% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 144,088 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $22,223,000 after buying an additional 21,803 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio acquired a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at $9,945,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 7.5% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 283,063 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,657,000 after buying an additional 19,836 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its stake in 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 valued at $2,668,000 after buying an additional 1,165 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.75% of the company’s stock.
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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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