Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank has recently increased its investment in Willis Towers Watson Public Limited by 112.7% during the fourth quarter, according to a disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This move has resulted in an additional 21,190 shares purchased by the firm, bringing their total holdings of WTW stock to 39,984 shares worth approximately $9,779,000 at the end of Q4.
News of insider selling activity also surfaced as Anne Donovan Bodnar sold 5,000 shares and Julie Jarecke Gebauer sold 3,000 shares in separate transactions that occurred on February 9th and February 14th respectively. These sales were disclosed in legal filings with the SEC and accounted for a total transaction value of $2,009,800.
Despite these developments, WTW stock continues to trade strongly as it opened at $237.85 on Thursday with a market capitalization of $25.32 billion. The company boasts a P/E ratio of 26.08 and has a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.26 with a beta of 0.75. In addition to this, WTW has shown resilience over the past year trading within its 52-week low-high range of $187.89-$258.93 which further fortifies its position among investors.
Trading statistics aside, Willis Towers Watson Public Limited’s financial ratios indicate strong fundamentals as indicated by its quick/current ratio which currently stands at 1.69 showing solid liquidity for the firm while maintaining low levels of debt-to-equity at .44.
In conclusion, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank’s enlarged investment signals positive sentiment towards Willis Towers Watson Public Limited despite insider selling activity which shows resolve regarding company finances among industry players and investors alike that goes beyond quantitative markers but is supported by substantial underlying cash flows enabling successful operations.
WTW Receives Attention from Investors and Analysts as Insiders Trade Shares and Dividend Increases
Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (WTW) has been the focus of attention recently, with a number of institutional investors buying and selling shares. Covington Capital Management purchased a new position in WTW during the third quarter valued at $32,000; Accurate Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake during the fourth quarter worth about $35,000; Parkside Financial Bank & Trust bought a new stake during the third quarter for about $42,000; WJ Interests LLC invested during the fourth quarter for approximately $49,000; and Private Trust Co. NA placed an investment in WTW during the second quarter worth around $52,000. At present, 93.77% of stock ownership lies with hedge funds and other institutional investors.
WTW has also been under scrutiny from analysts lately. A “hold” rating was given by Stifel Nicolaus who lifted their price target on WTW from $228 to $255 in February 2017. Robert W. Baird set an “outperform” rating with a price target increase from $246 to $259 in February 2017. The Goldman Sachs Group upgraded their neutral rating to buy and set a target price of $290 on the stock in February 27th report. Citigroup also boosted its target price for WTW from $255 to $256 this year while Keefe Bruyette & Woods improved WTW’s status as “market perform” to “outperform”, setting a target price of $303 on January 18th this year. Seven research analysts rated the stock as hold, seven gave it a buy rating while one person assigned it as strong buy rating.
Interestingly enough, insiders have been active in trading shares of WTW lately too: insider Anne Donovan Bodnar sold 5,000 shares at an average price of $253.94 per share on February 9th and again on April 17th. The stock was sold for a total transaction value of $1,269,700.00; while insider Julie Jarecke Gebauer also sold 3,000 shares on February 14th at an average price of $246.70 per share for a total transaction value of $740,100.00.
WTW recently reported earnings results for the quarter ended February 9thof this year. In the report, WTW revealed an EPS figure of $6.33per share – beating the consensus estimate of $6.29 by four cents per share – and had revenue of $2.72 billion for the quarter compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.70 billion.
Finally, WTW’s shareholders have seen an increase in its quarterly dividend, which rose to USD 0.84 per share and a yield of 1.41%, up from its previous dividend payout of USD 0.82 per share as announced on Monday April 17thand paid out on Monday April 17th . With this information in mind,the consensus rating for WTW remains moderately positive with Bloomberg.comusers predicting it has a current year expected EPS (estimate predictability strength) level set at “Strong Buy” with a consensus price target readjusted from$228 to around$268 this year alone.