Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco LLC decreased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 17.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 63,834 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 13,153 shares during the quarter. Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco LLC’s holdings in Willis Towers Watson were worth $9,619,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,024,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,209,269,000 after acquiring an additional 121,446 shares during the period. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 6,146,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $926,174,000 after acquiring an additional 468,525 shares during the period. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 2,094,250 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $315,583,000 after acquiring an additional 10,502 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.3% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,635,349 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $246,431,000 after acquiring an additional 179,146 shares during the period. Finally, Lyrical Asset Management LP increased its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Lyrical Asset Management LP now owns 1,557,049 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $234,632,000 after acquiring an additional 60,355 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.75% of the company’s stock.
Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) traded up $0.32 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $162.71. 13,333 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 569,927. The firm has a market capitalization of $21,545.95, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.19, a PEG ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.88. 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 PLC has a 52 week low of $125.66 and a 52 week high of $165.00.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This is a positive change from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.72%.
Willis Towers Watson declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan 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. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on WLTW. Deutsche Bank increased their price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $140.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $195.00 price objective (up previously from $172.00) on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Sunday, February 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $154.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $153.00 price objective on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $168.67.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,438 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.95, for a total transaction of $1,509,608.10. Following the sale, the insider now owns 22,041 shares in the company, valued at $3,525,457.95. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 6.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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Willis Towers Watson Company Profile
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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