Zacks Investment Research Lowers Marsh & McLennan Cos. (MMC) to Hold
Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
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%.”
MMC has been the subject of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $55.00 price target on Marsh & McLennan Cos. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 12th. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price target on Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $73.00 price target (down from $77.00) on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price target on Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $67.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.50.
Shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) traded down 0.85% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $66.39. The company had a trading volume of 1,232,936 shares. Marsh & McLennan Cos. has a 1-year low of $50.81 and a 1-year high of $68.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $67.19 and its 200 day moving average price is $65.24. The company has a market capitalization of $34.41 billion, a PE ratio of 21.21 and a beta of 0.93.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 the consensus estimate of $3.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.80 earnings per share. Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Marsh & McLennan Cos. will post $3.38 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 11th will be given a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 6th. Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s payout ratio is 43.45%.
In related news, Chairman Alexander S. Moczarski sold 22,230 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.41, for a total transaction of $1,498,524.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.51% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 30.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 16,680,076 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,141,918,000 after buying an additional 3,868,048 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 4.1% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 51,600,921 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,136,820,000 after buying an additional 2,023,497 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 70.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 2,663,583 shares of the company’s stock valued at $182,349,000 after buying an additional 1,099,274 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. during the second quarter valued at about $57,740,000. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 322.5% in the second quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 1,030,763 shares of the company’s stock valued at $70,566,000 after buying an additional 786,774 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.97% of the company’s stock.
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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