Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) Stock Passes Above 200-Day Moving Average of $193.64

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Shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) crossed above its two hundred day moving average during trading on Monday . The stock has a two hundred day moving average of $193.64 and traded as high as $204.19. Willis Towers Watson shares last traded at $204.12, with a volume of 169,029 shares.

Several research firms have weighed in on WLTW. ValuEngine lowered Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. BidaskClub upgraded Willis Towers Watson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $225.00 target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a report on Sunday, November 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $206.70.

The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $198.07 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $193.86. The company has a quick ratio of 1.41, a current ratio of 1.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.82.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.98 billion. Willis Towers Watson had a return on equity of 13.01% and a net margin of 10.07%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.32 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 10.92 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be issued a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 30th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. Willis Towers Watson’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.72%.

In related news, insider Joseph Gunn sold 2,690 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $189.07, for a total value of $508,598.30. Following the sale, the insider now owns 17,912 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,386,621.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Anne Donovan Bodnar sold 36,557 shares of Willis Towers Watson stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $192.99, for a total value of $7,055,135.43. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 67,002 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,930,715.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 42,461 shares of company stock worth $8,160,220. Corporate insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WLTW. Trexquant Investment LP acquired a new stake in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the second quarter valued at about $331,000. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.2% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,923 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $943,000 after acquiring an additional 535 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 101.8% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 225,220 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,139,000 after acquiring an additional 113,600 shares during the last quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. increased its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 31.6% in the second quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 53,051 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $10,161,000 after acquiring an additional 12,731 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 16.9% in the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 62,054 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,886,000 after acquiring an additional 8,970 shares during the last quarter. 92.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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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