UPDATE - Barclays Upgraded Willis Group (WSH) to Overweight; Should Benefit From Outlook in P&C Prices

October 25, 2011 1:08 PM EDT Send to a Friend
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Price: $40.78 -0.02%

Rating Summary:
    6 Buy, 13 Hold, 2 Sell

Rating Trend: Down Down

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 12 | Down: 25 | New: 20
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UPDATE - Barclays upgraded Willis Group (NYSE: WSH) from Equalweight to Overweight, raises price target from $39 to $48.

Barclays analyst says, "Willis reported worse-than-anticipated 3Q11 results excluding a tax benefit driven by lower-than-projected organic growth and margins. Organic growth slowed to +2% (4% excluding drag from Loan Protector results, which provides lender placed insurance and insurance tracking services to the mortgage servicing industry) from +3% in 2Q11. WSH said headwinds from soft P&C prices and a weak economy persist."

"WSH now expects 2011 EPS of $2.70-$2.80 per share. We are lowering our 2011 EPS estimate to $2.75 from $2.95 and our 2012 EPS estimate to $3.20 from $3.45. WSH is a pure play global insurance broker. Despite worse-than-anticipated 3Q11 results, the company should benefit based on our outlook for P&C prices improve, and the valuation appears attractive at 12.7x our revised 2012 EPS estimate of $3.20, which is below peers."

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