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What's in Store for Willis Towers (WLTW) in Q1 Earnings?

Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company WLTW is slated to report first-quarter 2017 results on May 4, before the market opens. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 16.77%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to be Considered this Quarter

Organic growth as well as acquisitions are likely to have supported the improvement in commissions and fees, a major component of Willis Towers’ top line.

Solid customer retention levels and new business growth are expected to have driven adjusted revenue growth.
Restructuring costs owing to its Operational Improvement Program and integration expenses are likely to have weighed on margin expansion.

Share buybacks should provide additional upside to the bottom line.

With respect to the surprise trend, the company delivered positive surprises in the last four quarters with an average beat of 10.98%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Willis Towers is likely to beat on earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Willis Towers has an Earnings ESP of +0.60%. This is because the Most Accurate estimates is pegged at $3.35 while the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at $3.33. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they are reported with our">Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Willis Towers carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

We caution against Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies from finance sector that you may want to consider as these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Prudential Financial Inc. PRU, which is set to report first-quarter earnings on May 3, has an Earnings ESP of +0.38% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

American Financial Group, Inc. AFG has an Earnings ESP of +0.73% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on May 3.

Ares Management L.P. ARES has an Earnings ESP of +2.56% and a Zacks Rank #3. The partnership is set to report first-quarter earnings on May 8.

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Ares Management L.P. (ARES): Free Stock Analysis Report
Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (WLTW): Free Stock Analysis Report
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American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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