Willis Group's earnings per share in the second quarter lagged the
Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as year-ago earnings on higher
expenses. The top line beat expectations and improved year over
year riding on the strength of higher commissions and fees. The
company also witnessed modest growth in reinsurance and improvement
in investment income. Moreover, each segment delivered organic
growth for the seventh consecutive quarter. With solid retention
levels and new business growth, we expect the company to sustain
its momentum. Its Operational Improvement Program, besides costs
savings will help it to realize operational efficiencies, invest in
new growth avenues and strengthen its client services. Willis Group
remains focused on enhancing its shareholder value. It plans a $200
million worth share buyback in 2014. We retain Neutral on Willis
Willis Group Holdings plc (WSH) and its subsidiaries provide a
broad range of insurance brokerage, reinsurance and risk management
consulting services to its worldwide clients, both directly and
through its associates. The company provides both specialized risk
management advisory and consulting services to clients engaged in
specific industrial and commercial activities, and retail services
to small, medium and major corporate houses.
In its capacity as an advisor and insurance broker, the company
acts as an intermediary between clients and insurance carriers by
advising clients on risk management requirements, helping them
determine the best means of managing risk and negotiating and
placing insurance risk with insurance carriers through the
company's global distribution network.
On Sep 24, 2009, Willis Group Holdings was incorporated in
Ireland in order to effectuate the change of the place of
incorporation of the Group's parent company. The company operated
as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Willis-Bermuda until Dec 31, 2009,
when the outstanding common shares of Willis-Bermuda were cancelled
and Willis Group Holdings issued ordinary shares with substantially
the same rights and preferences on a one-for-one basis to the
holders of the Willis-Bermuda common shares that were cancelled.
Upon completion of this transaction, Willis Group Holdings replaced
Willis-Bermuda as the ultimate parent company and Willis-Bermuda
became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Willis Group Holdings.
Willis Group operates through three segments: Global, North
America and International. The Global segment (accounted for 32% of
operating revenues in 2012) provides specialist brokerage and
consulting services to clients worldwide for specific industrial
and commercial activities and is organized by specialism. The North
American segment (38%) and the International segment (30%)
predominantly comprise retail operations that provide services to
small, medium and major corporations, accessing Global's specialist
expertise when required.
Willis has more than 400 offices in 120 countries, with
approximately 21,700 employees.
As of Mar 31, 2014, the company had $15.8 billion (up 0.2% year
over year) in total assets, $2.3 billion (down 3.3% year over year)
in long-term debt and $2.4 billion (up 30.9% year over year) in
Willis Group Holdings plc (WSH): Read the Full
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