Sciencast Management LP Invests $1.72 Million in Willis Towers Watson PLC (WLTW)

Sciencast Management LP bought a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund bought 11,256 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $1,721,000. Willis Towers Watson makes up about 0.9% of Sciencast Management LP’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th largest position.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the business. LPL Financial LLC boosted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 18.5% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 2,464 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $371,000 after purchasing an additional 385 shares in the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 12.2% during the 4th quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 3,850 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $580,000 after purchasing an additional 418 shares in the last quarter. Zeke Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 17.7% during the 1st quarter. Zeke Capital Advisors LLC now owns 2,856 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $435,000 after purchasing an additional 429 shares in the last quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 17.1% during the 1st quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC now owns 3,421 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $521,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vident Investment Advisory LLC boosted its position in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 22.2% during the 4th quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 2,889 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $436,000 after purchasing an additional 524 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.01% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “hold” rating and set a $154.00 target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research report on Saturday, March 17th. MKM Partners lifted their price target on Willis Towers Watson to $190.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Willis Towers Watson from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $153.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 price target (up previously from $172.00) on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Sunday, February 18th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on Willis Towers Watson to $192.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. Willis Towers Watson has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $171.23.

Willis Towers Watson opened at $157.75 on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm has a market cap of $20.77 billion, a PE ratio of 18.54, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 2.68 and a quick ratio of 2.68. Willis Towers Watson PLC has a 52-week low of $142.67 and a 52-week high of $165.00.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last announced its earnings results on Monday, May 7th. The financial services provider reported $2.71 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $2.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $3.71 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 9.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Willis Towers Watson declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Monday, February 26th that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 16th. Investors of record on Saturday, June 30th will be paid a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.52%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 28th. Willis Towers Watson’s payout ratio is 28.20%.

Willis Towers Watson 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW)

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