Analysts predict that Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) will post $1.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Six analysts have made estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.39 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.84. Willis Towers Watson posted earnings per share of $1.45 in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 17.2%. The company is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will report full-year earnings of $9.57 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $9.35 to $9.71. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $10.88 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $10.27 to $11.20. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Willis Towers Watson.
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Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 7th. The financial services provider reported $2.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.63 by $0.08. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 5.37% and a return on equity of 9.69%. The company had revenue of $2.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.17 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $3.71 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo set a $154.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. ValuEngine cut shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Tuesday, March 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Willis Towers Watson currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $170.64.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,438 shares of the company’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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,041 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,525,457.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Willis Towers Watson by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,024,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,209,269,000 after purchasing an additional 121,446 shares during the period. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD lifted its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 8.3% in the 4th quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 6,146,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $926,174,000 after buying an additional 468,525 shares in the last quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 4,038,304 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $614,589,000 after buying an additional 17,898 shares in the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC lifted its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 2,094,250 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $315,583,000 after buying an additional 10,502 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 12.3% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,635,349 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $246,431,000 after buying an additional 179,146 shares in the last quarter. 93.49% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of NASDAQ WLTW traded down $0.96 during trading on Friday, hitting $152.38. 53,675 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 571,700. Willis Towers Watson has a 1 year low of $151.99 and a 1 year high of $153.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.04 billion, a PE ratio of 17.87, a P/E/G ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a quick ratio of 1.82, a current ratio of 2.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42.
Willis Towers Watson announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Monday, February 26th that allows the company to buyback $400.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st were given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.58%. This is a boost from Willis Towers Watson’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio is 28.20%.
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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