Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC) Rating Lowered to Hold at StockNews.com

StockNews.com cut shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMCGet Rating) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Bank of America lowered shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $168.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies from $154.00 to $157.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, January 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price objective on shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies from $183.00 to $170.00 in a research note on Friday, January 28th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies from $167.00 to $178.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $161.00 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, February 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $159.77.

Shares of MMC stock opened at $169.76 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a 1 year low of $124.62 and a 1 year high of $175.12. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $159.93 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $162.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $85.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.69, a PEG ratio of 3.35 and a beta of 0.97.

Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMCGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.02. Marsh & McLennan Companies had a net margin of 15.86% and a return on equity of 30.91%. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.19 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 15.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Marsh & McLennan Companies will post 6.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Marsh & McLennan Companies announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, March 23rd that permits the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 13th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.535 per share. This represents a $2.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 5th. Marsh & McLennan Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.91%.

In related news, SVP Paul Beswick sold 1,791 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.21, for a total value of $306,637.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Martine Ferland sold 4,797 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.28, for a total transaction of $759,269.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Delos Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Industrial Alliance Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in Marsh & McLennan Companies during the 4th quarter worth approximately $28,000. Smith Group Asset Management LLC increased its position in Marsh & McLennan Companies by 196.6% in the 4th quarter. Smith Group Asset Management LLC now owns 172 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 114 shares during the period. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies by 268.0% during the fourth quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 184 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares during the period. Finally, Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. grew its stake in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies by 90.7% in the fourth quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 185 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. 88.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Marsh & McLennan Companies (Get Rating)

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc, a professional services company, provides advice and solutions to clients in the areas of risk, strategy, and people worldwide. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. The Risk and Insurance Services segment offers risk management services, such as risk advice, risk transfer, and risk control and mitigation solutions, as well as insurance and reinsurance broking, catastrophe and financial modeling, and related advisory services; and insurance program management services.

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