Willis Group (WSH) Stock Upgraded To 'Neutral' From 'Underperform' At Sterne Agee

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Willis Group Holdings (WSH)WSH was upgraded to "neutral" from "under perform" at Sterne Agee as the firm feels risk/reward for the insurance brokerage company is now more balanced.

Since Sterne Agee downgraded the company in October 2011, Willis Group Holdings has significantly under-performed the group, up just 20% versus the rest of the insurance brokers which are up 75%, Sterne Agee said.

Valuation at 9.9x forwards four quarter EBITDA is essentially in line with the group average and the firm feels EPS downside risk is more limited as the consensus is now closer to our forecasts.

Sterne Agee estimates Q1 $1.40 from $1.42; '14 $2.75 from $2.80; '15 $3.05 from $3.10.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates WILLIS GROUP HOLDINGS PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WILLIS GROUP HOLDINGS PLC (WSH) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

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