Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Willis Towers Watson PLC (WLTW) to Post $4.06 EPS

Wall Street brokerages forecast that Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) will announce earnings of $4.06 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Willis Towers Watson’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $3.91 and the highest is $4.25. Willis Towers Watson posted earnings per share of $2.21 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 83.7%. The firm is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings report before the market opens on Thursday, February 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson will report full-year earnings of $9.79 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $9.66 to $9.96. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $10.98 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $10.65 to $11.25. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Willis Towers Watson.

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Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 7th. The financial services provider reported $4.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.06 by ($0.06). The business had revenue of $2.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.38 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 10.15%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.21 earnings per share.

Several research firms have issued reports on WLTW. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $171.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. BidaskClub raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Raymond James lifted their price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $175.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $155.00 price target on shares of Willis Towers Watson and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $175.62.

In related news, insider Julie Jarecke Gebauer sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.15, for a total transaction of $1,601,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Nicolas Aubert sold 16,762 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.00, for a total transaction of $2,681,920.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 25,482 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,077,120. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WLTW. Advisors Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 3,261.4% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 28,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 27,559 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the third quarter valued at approximately $298,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 4.6% in the third quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 33,003 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,649,000 after purchasing an additional 1,465 shares in the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the third quarter valued at approximately $2,870,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 19.6% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 173,792 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $24,495,000 after purchasing an additional 28,535 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 91.71% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ WLTW traded down $3.59 on Thursday, hitting $162.77. The stock had a trading volume of 1,200,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 685,181. The company has a current ratio of 1.86, a quick ratio of 1.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. Willis Towers Watson has a 52-week low of $134.50 and a 52-week high of $167.11. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.13, a P/E/G ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 0.74.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 31st were issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.47%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.20%.

Willis Towers Watson Company Profile

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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