Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 0.6% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 14,008,856 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 80,260 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned approximately 10.86% of Willis Towers Watson worth $2,683,255,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Clean Yield Group acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the 2nd quarter worth $28,000. Redhawk Wealth Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the 2nd quarter worth $31,000. Private Ocean LLC acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the 2nd quarter worth $38,000. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 32.8% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 344 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $63,000 after acquiring an additional 85 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pinebridge Investments L.P. acquired a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the 2nd quarter worth $76,000. 92.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
WLTW has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Barclays set a $235.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 11th. SunTrust Banks raised their price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $210.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine lowered shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, UBS Group raised their price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $202.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $201.33.
In related news, insider Nicolas Aubert sold 7,592 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $195.00, for a total value of $1,480,440.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,875 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,145,625. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Willis Towers Watson stock traded down $0.55 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $198.14. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,223 shares, compared to its average volume of 423,330. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $194.80 and its 200 day simple moving average is $185.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 1.83 and a current ratio of 1.83. Willis Towers Watson PLC has a one year low of $134.50 and a one year high of $200.93. The stock has a market cap of $25.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.81.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.76 by $0.02. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 9.86% and a return on equity of 13.00%. The company had revenue of $2.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.06 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.70 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 10.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Monday, September 30th will be given a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 27th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is presently 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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