Jeffrey Ubben Ups ValueAct Capital’s Stake in Willis Group Holdings PLC (WSH)

Jeffrey Ubben is still bullish on Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH). According to a recent Form 4 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ubben and his fund, ValueAct Capital, have increased their stake in the company through the purchase of 207,900 shares in four transactions at prices between $40.92 and $41. As a result, ValueAct and Ubben currently hold 18.4 million shares, a position worth $796 million given the current price of $43.25 per share.


William Von Mueffling shares Ubben’s fondness of Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH). During the fourth quarter of 2013, his fund, Cantillon Capital Management, has increased its stake by 78% to 3.77 million shares, worth about $169 million. Ric Dillon of Diamond Hill Capital has also increased its holding of Willis Group stock by 53% to 2.5 million shares, worth $113 million.

Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH) offers insurance and risk management to its clients worldwide. The stock has created an all-time high of $47.22 in October 2013 and has been in a correction ever since. The company has a market cap of $7.74 billion and pays an annual dividend of $1.12, which accounts for a yield of 2.6%. The stock is traded at a trailing Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 21.20, significantly lower than the industry average of 30.50.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, Willis Group posted revenues of $919 million and earnings of $0.42 per share. Analysts expect the company to increase its earnings to $1.1 billion during the current quarter. They also expect EPS of $1.42 for the same period.

During the fourth quarter Ubben has made a massive 289% increase in ValueAct’s holding of Allison Transmission Holdings Inc (NYSE:ALSN), a manufacturer of auto parts. As reported in its latest 13F filing, ValueAct currently holds a little over 18 million shares worth $497 million. Ubben has also decreased his fund’s exposure to Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE). Approximately 6 million shares were disposed of, leaving ValueAct with 25.3 million shares valued at $1.5 billion.

Disclosure: none.

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