Marsh & McLennan Cos. (MMC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”
According to Zacks, “Marsh & McLennan’s exposure to currency volatility due to huge international presence, and integration risks from acquisitions raises concern. However, the company 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. Our proven model cannot conclusively say if Marsh & McLennan will beat expectation when it reports third quarter results on Oct 25. This is because Zacks Rank #4 that decreases predictive power of a beat when combined with Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes prediction difficult.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on MMC. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a market perform rating and set a $73.00 price objective (down from $77.00) on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Barclays PLC reissued an overweight rating and issued a $71.00 target price on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their target price on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $67.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. cut their target price on shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. from $78.00 to $76.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Marsh & McLennan Cos. has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $69.18.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) traded up 0.15% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $65.43. 541,638 shares of the company were exchanged. Marsh & McLennan Cos. has a 52 week low of $50.81 and a 52 week high of $68.69. The firm has a market capitalization of $33.91 billion, a PE ratio of 20.90 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a 50-day moving average of $66.87 and a 200 day moving average of $65.64.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.01. Marsh & McLennan Cos. had a net margin of 12.54% and a return on equity of 25.30%. The business earned $3.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.38 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.80 EPS. The company’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 year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 11th will be given a dividend of $0.34 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 6th. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.08%. Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 43.45%.
In other news, Chairman Alexander S. Moczarski sold 22,230 shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. stock in a transaction 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.51% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. increased its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 86.3% in the third quarter. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. now owns 222,088 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,935,000 after buying an additional 102,867 shares during the period. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC increased its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 4.6% in the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 20,092 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,351,000 after buying an additional 875 shares during the period. National Pension Service increased its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 8.4% in the third quarter. National Pension Service now owns 380,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,582,000 after buying an additional 29,417 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. during the third quarter valued at $1,033,000. Finally, MSI Financial Services Inc increased its stake in Marsh & McLennan Cos. by 2,345.3% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 25,040 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,684,000 after buying an additional 24,016 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.97% of the company’s stock.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. Company Profile
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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