Aon PLC (NYSE:AON) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Aon PLC (NYSE:AON) saw a large growth in short interest during the month of March. As of March 13th, there was short interest totalling 4,001,000 shares, a growth of 170.3% from the February 27th total of 1,480,000 shares. Approximately 1.8% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,060,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.8 days.

Shares of NYSE AON traded up $2.55 during trading on Thursday, hitting $165.70. 2,553,089 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,587,419. AON has a 1 year low of $143.93 and a 1 year high of $238.19. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $205.31 and a 200-day moving average price of $201.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.09 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a quick ratio of 1.52, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92.

AON (NYSE:AON) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $2.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.49 by $0.04. AON had a net margin of 13.91% and a return on equity of 55.95%. The firm had revenue of $2.99 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.16 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts predict that AON will post 10.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other AON news, insider Anthony R. Goland sold 15,040 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $235.00, for a total value of $3,534,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 16,757 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,937,895. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Christa Davies sold 2,354 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $233.77, for a total value of $550,294.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 220,571 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $51,562,882.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 18,644 shares of company stock valued at $4,285,545 over the last quarter. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp boosted its position in AON by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,541,582 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,195,706,000 after purchasing an additional 32,700 shares during the period. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD boosted its position in AON by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 6,513,038 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,356,601,000 after purchasing an additional 47,573 shares during the period. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. boosted its position in AON by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 5,786,494 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,205,269,000 after purchasing an additional 17,478 shares during the period. Capital World Investors boosted its position in AON by 59.3% in the 4th quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 5,217,957 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,086,848,000 after buying an additional 1,942,584 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in AON by 23.9% in the 4th quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,557,215 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $949,202,000 after buying an additional 879,207 shares during the last quarter. 86.06% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on AON. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of AON from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $219.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 16th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of AON from $196.00 to $227.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, February 3rd. Raymond James raised shares of AON from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday. MKM Partners boosted their price objective on shares of AON from $225.00 to $260.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 3rd. Finally, William Blair raised shares of AON from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 19th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. AON has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $221.90.

About AON

Aon plc, a professional services firm, provides advisory and solutions based on risk, retirement, and health to clients. It offers commercial risk solutions, including retail brokerage, cyber, and global risk consulting solutions, as well as acts as a captive insurance provider; and health solutions, such as health and benefits brokerages, and health care exchanges.

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