Willis Group Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Insurer Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH  ) needs to put in a claim for losses today as high as 13%. The stock finally settled in at a mere 9% decline after the company reported third-quarter earnings this morning.

So what: Revenue for the quarter was $762 million and resulted in earnings per share of $0.41. It was a miss and a beat, as the Street was looking for $764.2 million in sales and $0.37 per share in earnings.

Now what: The company's forward-looking guidance is what's spooking investors, though, as the company sees full-year earnings per share in the range of $2.70 to $2.80 while analysts' consensus calls for $2.87. Despite the soft guidance, Barclays went ahead and upgraded the stock from equal weight to overweight while boosting its price target from $39 to $48. Barclays noted that property and casualty prices should improve, and the company sports a more attractive valuation than its peers.

Interested in more info on Willis Group? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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