Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of June. As of June 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,096,100 shares, a growth of 6.0% from the May 15th total of 1,034,100 shares. Approximately 0.9% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 509,400 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.2 days.
In other Willis Towers Watson news, Director Anna C. Catalano sold 1,110 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $180.35, for a total transaction of $200,188.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 20.5% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 33,041 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,329,000 after buying an additional 5,626 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 860.7% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,441 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 1,291 shares in the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC increased its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 22.0% during the 2nd quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 572 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in Willis Towers Watson during the 2nd quarter worth about $231,000. Finally, Callahan Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Willis Towers Watson by 8.8% during the 2nd quarter. Callahan Advisors LLC now owns 15,823 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,031,000 after purchasing an additional 1,285 shares in the last quarter. 91.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The financial services provider reported $2.98 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.99 by ($0.01). Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 12.89% and a net margin of 8.99%. The company had revenue of $2.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.37 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.71 EPS. Willis Towers Watson’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Willis Towers Watson will post 10.77 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Sunday, June 30th were issued a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 27th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.33%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.72%.
A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Welbilt from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 12th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Blackstone Group from $54.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on Willis Towers Watson from $210.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup set a $21.00 target price on Tanger Factory Outlet Centers and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $33.00 target price on Matador Resources and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $198.08.
About Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company operates as an advisory, broking, and solutions company worldwide. The company's Human Capital and Benefits segment offers 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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