Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) – Investment Analysts’ Recent Ratings Updates

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) recently received a number of ratings updates from brokerages and research firms:

  • 2/9/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its price target raised by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from $140.00 to $150.00. They now have a “sell” rating on the stock.
  • 2/8/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. They now have a $154.00 price target on the stock.
  • 2/5/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 2/5/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its price target raised by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from $175.00 to $187.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 2/3/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Willis Towers have underperformed the industry in the last three months.  Escalating expenses, rising debt level and adverse forex remain concerns. Moreover, a Zacks Rank #5 and Earnings ESP of -0.25% makes surprise prediction difficult as it reports earnings on Feb 8. Nonetheless, Willis Towers is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies, and tax efficiencies, besides unlocking balance sheet capacity. Focus on realizing operational efficiencies, investing in new growth avenues and strengthening its client services bode well. Its inorganic story remains impressive and helps leverage strengths to penetrate deeper into markets, and expand international presence. The momentum in exchange business remains strong. Notably, Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $8.36 and $8.51, revenue growth of about 3% and EBITDA margin in 23-24% range in 2017.”
  • 2/2/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 1/26/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Willis Towers have underperformed the industry in a year. The company witnessed its 2018 estimates move south in the last 60 days. The company’s escalating expenses, rising debt level and adverse forex remain concerns. Nonetheless, Willis Towers is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies, and tax efficiencies, besides unlocking balance sheet capacity. Focus on realizing operational efficiencies, investing in new growth avenues and strengthening its client services bode well. Its inorganic story remains impressive and helps leverage strengths to penetrate deeper into markets, and expand international presence. The momentum in exchange business remains strong. Notably, Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $8.36 and $8.51, revenue growth of about 3% and EBITDA margin in 23-24% range in 2017.”
  • 1/16/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was downgraded by analysts at William Blair from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating.
  • 1/10/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. They now have a $154.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/9/2018 – Willis Towers Watson had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Barclays PLC. They now have a $172.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/6/2018 – Willis Towers Watson was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 12/22/2017 – Willis Towers Watson was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.

Shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ WLTW) traded down $0.22 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $152.14. 1,034,600 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 642,727. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.82 and a quick ratio of 1.97. Willis Towers Watson PLC has a 52 week low of $124.10 and a 52 week high of $165.00. The company has a market capitalization of $20,103.72, a P/E ratio of 36.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 0.90.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.99 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.88 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 9.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, December 31st were given a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is 50.72%.

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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