Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, July 12th.

According to Zacks, “Marsh & McLennan's exposure to currency volatility due to high international presence, and integration risks from acquisitions raises concern. Also, high tax rates and low interest rates have suppressed investment income and increased pension liability risk. The company is, however, expected to benefit from improved pricing, stable ratings, strong capital management and expense control initiatives. Its effective capital management via share buyback and dividend payment also impresses. Over the past many years, the company has made significant investments, both for organic growth and acquisitions. Its shares have underperformed the broader industry, in the past one year.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on MMC. BidaskClub raised Marsh & McLennan Companies from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on Marsh & McLennan Companies from $84.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $80.00 price objective (up previously from $73.00) on shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $81.56.

Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE MMC) traded down 0.32% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $78.18. The company had a trading volume of 2,033,346 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $40.07 billion, a PE ratio of 21.60 and a beta of 0.98. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $78.84 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.68. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a 52 week low of $62.33 and a 52 week high of $81.00.

Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00. Marsh & McLennan Companies had a return on equity of 28.56% and a net margin of 13.97%. The company had revenue of $3.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.91 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Marsh & McLennan Companies will post $3.81 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, SVP Laurie Ledford sold 184,305 shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.03, for a total value of $13,644,099.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 1.46% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Accident Compensation Corp raised its position in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies by 8.5% in the first quarter. Accident Compensation Corp now owns 81,380 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,013,000 after buying an additional 6,400 shares in the last quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC raised its position in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 10,031 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $749,000 after buying an additional 97 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in Marsh & McLennan Companies by 47.5% in the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 154,812 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,441,000 after buying an additional 49,850 shares during the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp boosted its stake in Marsh & McLennan Companies by 25.2% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 87,352 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,454,000 after buying an additional 17,572 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in Marsh & McLennan Companies by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 17,940 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,213,000 after buying an additional 960 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.20% of the company’s stock.

About Marsh & McLennan Companies

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 risk advisors and specialty consultants, including Marsh, the insurance broker; Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of human resource and investment related financial advice and services, and Oliver Wyman Group, the management and economic consultancy.

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Analyst Recommendations for Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC)

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