Marsh & McLennan Cos. (MMC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”
Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The firm presently has a $75.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 11.52% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Marsh & McLennan should benefit from improved pricing, stable ratings, strong capital management and expense control initiatives. Its segments Risk and Insurance Services and Consulting are also performing well. The company's effective capital management via share buyback and dividend payment also remains impressive. Also its strategic acquisitions and restructuring initiatives have generated new clients will generate long term growth. Nevertheless, its exposure to currency volatility due to huge international presence, and integration risks from acquisitions raises concern. The company is expected to release third quarter earnings on Oct 25, 2016. The Zacks Consensus earning estimate for the quarter is pegged at $0.69 per share which translates into year over year growth rate of 9.2%.”
Several other brokerages have also commented on MMC. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $55.00 price target on Marsh & McLennan Cos. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $71.00 price target on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upped their price target on Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $73.00 price target (down from $77.00) on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $67.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.50.
Shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) opened at 67.25 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $67.20 and its 200 day moving average price is $65.10. Marsh & McLennan Cos. has a one year low of $50.81 and a one year high of $68.69. The company has a market cap of $34.85 billion, a PE ratio of 21.49 and a beta of 0.93.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.01. Marsh & McLennan Cos. had a return on equity of 25.30% and a net margin of 12.54%. The company earned $3.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.38 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Marsh & McLennan Cos. will post $3.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 11th will be given a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 6th. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.02%. Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.45%.
In other news, Chairman Alexander S. Moczarski sold 22,230 shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.41, for a total value of $1,498,524.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 1.51% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. M&T Bank Corp boosted its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 1.1% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 52,998 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,220,000 after buying an additional 592 shares during the last quarter. Menta Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. during the first quarter valued at $1,173,000. Advisor Partners LLC boosted its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 101.3% in the first quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 10,128 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,000 after buying an additional 5,097 shares during the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. during the first quarter valued at $7,683,000. Finally, Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV boosted its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV now owns 17,002 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,034,000 after buying an additional 248 shares during the last quarter. 85.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Marsh & McLennan Cos.
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc is a professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in risk, strategy and people. The Company is the parent company of various specialty consultants, including Marsh, an insurance broker, intermediary and risk advisor; Guy Carpenter, a risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, a provider of human resource (HR) and related financial advice and services, and Oliver Wyman Group, a management, economic and brand consultancy.
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