Aon plc Class A (NYSE:AON) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Aon’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. Its core business strengthening initiatives, efficient capital deployment, strong cash flow position and cost savings from its restructuring programs bode well for long-term growth. The company divested its non-core HR BPO business to Blackstone in order to streamline its core operations. However, Its rising level of debt continues to bother. This results in increased interest expenses that weigh on the bottom line. Also, Aon’s geographically diversified operations are  exposed to foreign currency fluctuations.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $158.00 price target on shares of Aon plc Class A in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Jefferies Group boosted their price target on Aon plc Class A from $162.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Barclays boosted their target price on Aon plc Class A from $135.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. ValuEngine lowered Aon plc Class A from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Sandler O’Neill reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Aon plc Class A in a report on Monday, October 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $144.69.

Aon plc Class A (NYSE AON) traded up $1.28 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $136.55. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 894,725 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,025,670. The firm has a market cap of $33,803.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.04. Aon plc Class A has a 52-week low of $109.82 and a 52-week high of $152.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 2.35 and a quick ratio of 2.35.

Aon plc Class A (NYSE:AON) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.29 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $2.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.29 billion. Aon plc Class A had a return on equity of 32.71% and a net margin of 16.78%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.29 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Aon plc Class A will post 6.53 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO John Zern sold 17,680 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $139.79, for a total value of $2,471,487.20. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 27,695 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,871,484.05. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Eric Andersen sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $143.52, for a total value of $1,435,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 41,680 shares of company stock worth $5,903,887 over the last three months. 0.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AON. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Aon plc Class A by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 6,579 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $875,000 after purchasing an additional 369 shares during the period. Fiduciary Trust Co. bought a new stake in Aon plc Class A in the 2nd quarter valued at $108,000. Engineers Gate Manager LP bought a new stake in Aon plc Class A in the 2nd quarter valued at $882,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. bought a new stake in Aon plc Class A in the 2nd quarter valued at $581,000. Finally, Financial Counselors Inc. boosted its stake in Aon plc Class A by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Financial Counselors Inc. now owns 3,752 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $499,000 after purchasing an additional 111 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.23% of the company’s stock.

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Aon plc Class A Company Profile

Aon plc (Aon) is a global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing, delivering distinctive client value via risk management and workforce productivity solutions. The Company operates in two segments: Risk Solutions and Human Resource (HR) Solutions.

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