Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Willis Towers’ fourth-quarter bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on a solid segmental performance. The company is set to deliver value via incremental revenue growth, cost synergies and tax efficiencies besides unlocking the 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 the markets and expand international presence. The momentum in exchange business remains strong. Shares of Willis Towers have outperformed the industry in a year. Notably, Willis Towers expects adjusted earnings per share between $9.88 and $10.12, revenue growth of about 3% and EBITDA margin expansion of 25% in 2018. Escalating expenses, rising debt level and adverse forex remain concerns.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $172.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. ValuEngine cut Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. BidaskClub cut Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. William Blair cut Willis Towers Watson from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Willis Towers Watson in a report on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $153.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $166.75.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ WLTW) traded down $0.22 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $152.14. The stock had a trading volume of 1,034,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 650,075. Willis Towers Watson has a 12-month low of $124.10 and a 12-month high of $165.00. The company has a current ratio of 1.82, a quick ratio of 1.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. The stock has a market cap of $20,103.72, a PE ratio of 36.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 0.90.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The financial services provider reported $2.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.10. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 11.25% and a net margin of 6.93%. The firm had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.99 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.88 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.97 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Farr Miller & Washington LLC DC increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. Farr Miller & Washington LLC DC now owns 1,789 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $219,000 after acquiring an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Formidable Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. Formidable Asset Management LLC now owns 5,827 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $713,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 1.1% in the 4th quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 2,288 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $280,000 after acquiring an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 2,689 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $334,000 after acquiring an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 2.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,334 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $177,000 after acquiring an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. 94.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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