On Mar 21, 2013, the shares of
Willis Group Holdings plc
) reached a 52-week high of $38.94. Earlier, the company
generated a positive surprise of 2.27% in the fourth quarter of
2012. Further, Willis Group reported a positive surprise in 8 out
of the past 10 quarters.
Willis Group reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted net income
from continuing operations of 45 cents per share, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Results were in line with
the year-ago earnings.
In order to enhance its profitability, Willis Group is
undertaking a cost saving initiative. Management is reviewing the
organizational design and aims to reduce headcount. The company
is also strengthening its balance sheet by increasing the cash
balance and reducing debt.
Moreover, Willis Group has consistently tried to enhance its
shareholders value via dividend increase as well as share
buyback. Recently, in Feb 2013, the board approved a 3.7% hike in
its dividend. The company's dividend yield of 3.05% is much ahead
of the industry yield of 1.64% as well as of its nearest peers,
), with a dividend yield of 1.07% and
Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.
) with a yield of 2.55%.
The valuation of Willis Group looks attractive. The shares are
trading at a discount to its peers both on a price-to-book and
forward price-to-earnings basis, while the return on equity of
18.5% is higher than the peer group average of 12.3%.
Willis Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another
insurance broker -
Brown & Brown Inc.
) - carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) is worth considering.
AON PLC (AON): Free Stock Analysis Report
BROWN & BROWN (BRO): Free Stock Analysis
MARSH &MCLENNAN (MMC): Free Stock Analysis
WILLIS GP HLDGS (WSH): Free Stock Analysis
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