New York State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 1.0% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 195,336 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,007 shares during the quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System owned approximately 0.15% of Willis Towers Watson worth $29,728,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of WLTW. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $149,000. Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $192,000. Dean Capital Investments Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $201,000. Advisor Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $217,000. Finally, BancorpSouth Bank bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $266,000. 93.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
WLTW has been the topic of several recent research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $175.00 to $187.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. ValuEngine raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $172.00 target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, MKM Partners raised their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson to $190.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Willis Towers Watson currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $170.64.
Shares of NASDAQ:WLTW opened at $151.32 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $19.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.78, a PEG ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 1.82 and a current ratio of 1.82. Willis Towers Watson has a fifty-two week low of $139.36 and a fifty-two week high of $165.00.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 7th. The financial services provider reported $2.71 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.63 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $2.27 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 6.93% and a return on equity of 11.25%. Willis Towers Watson’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $3.71 EPS. analysts forecast that Willis Towers Watson will post 9.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, March 31st were given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.59%. This is an increase 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 (DPR) is currently 28.20%.
Willis Towers Watson announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Monday, February 26th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 9,438 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.95, for a total value of $1,509,608.10. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,041 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,525,457.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.
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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