Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW) by 3.7% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 476,444 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 16,948 shares during the quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP’s holdings in Willis Towers Watson were worth $72,352,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in WLTW. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 6.1% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,575,226 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,302,233,000 after purchasing an additional 489,781 shares in the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp purchased a new position in shares of Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $16,208,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of Willis Towers Watson by 30.2% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 445,150 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $67,600,000 after purchasing an additional 103,282 shares in the last quarter. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Willis Towers Watson in the 4th quarter valued at about $14,961,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in Willis Towers Watson by 6.3% in the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,459,327 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $221,612,000 after acquiring an additional 86,394 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.20% of the company’s stock.

In other Willis Towers Watson news, Director Anna C. Catalano sold 1,110 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $180.35, for a total transaction of $200,188.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.75% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Willis Towers Watson from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, April 13th. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $200.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Raymond James reissued a “strong-buy” rating and issued a $200.00 price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson in a research note on Monday, May 6th. MKM Partners increased their price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $190.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $164.00 to $175.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $188.77.

Shares of NASDAQ WLTW opened at $180.02 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 0.81. Willis Towers Watson PLC has a 52 week low of $134.50 and a 52 week high of $187.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a quick ratio of 2.20 and a current ratio of 2.20.

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The financial services provider reported $2.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 firm had revenue of $2.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.37 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.71 earnings per share. Willis Towers Watson’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Willis Towers Watson PLC will post 10.76 earnings per share for the current year.

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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.

Further Reading: What is Put Option Volume?

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

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