Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) to Post Q1 2019 Earnings of $2.92 Per Share, William Blair Forecasts

Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) – Research analysts at William Blair lowered their Q1 2019 earnings estimates for Willis Towers Watson in a report released on Monday, April 1st, according to Zacks Investment Research. William Blair analyst A. Klauber now forecasts that the financial services provider will post earnings per share of $2.92 for the quarter, down from their previous estimate of $3.02. William Blair currently has a “Market Perform” rating on the stock. William Blair also issued estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s Q2 2019 earnings at $1.68 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $4.95 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $1.77 EPS and Q4 2020 earnings at $5.51 EPS.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, April 13th. MKM Partners increased their target price on Willis Towers Watson from $190.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on Willis Towers Watson from $160.00 to $164.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 2nd. Citigroup increased their target price on Willis Towers Watson from $192.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, Barclays increased their target price on Willis Towers Watson from $185.00 to $200.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $183.83.

Willis Towers Watson stock traded up $1.38 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $181.55. The stock had a trading volume of 505,203 shares, compared to its average volume of 702,733. The stock has a market cap of $23.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.66, a P/E/G ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 0.80. Willis Towers Watson has a 12 month low of $134.50 and a 12 month high of $187.91. The company has a quick ratio of 1.86, a current ratio of 1.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The financial services provider reported $4.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $4.06 by ($0.06). The firm had revenue of $2.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.38 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 8.16% and a return on equity of 12.44%. Willis Towers Watson’s revenue was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.21 EPS.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. AXA raised its position in Willis Towers Watson by 24.8% in the 3rd quarter. AXA now owns 7,041 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $992,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. CI Investments Inc. raised its position in Willis Towers Watson by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 264,532 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $37,283,000 after buying an additional 1,344 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Willis Towers Watson by 7.1% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 459,496 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $64,760,000 after buying an additional 30,312 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. raised its position in Willis Towers Watson by 35.4% in the 3rd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 28,175 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,971,000 after buying an additional 7,361 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Standard Life Aberdeen plc raised its position in Willis Towers Watson by 13.2% in the 3rd quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 48,958 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,900,000 after buying an additional 5,704 shares during the last quarter. 93.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, insider Adam Garrard sold 3,517 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.71, for a total transaction of $603,904.07. Following the sale, the insider now owns 5,542 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $951,616.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph Gunn sold 2,042 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.30, for a total value of $343,668.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,264 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,905,531.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, March 31st were given a dividend of $0.65 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 28th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.43%. This is a positive change from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.72%.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company operates as an advisory, broking, and solutions company worldwide. Its Human Capital and Benefits segment provides 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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Earnings History and Estimates for Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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