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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Marsh & McLennan - medium-term aim is $60

Marsh & McLennan, a US-based multinational professional services firm, issued solid financials for the third quarter of 2015. Revenues declined 1% y-o-y to $3.1 bn due to the impact of a stronger dollar and came in in line with consensus estimate. However, on an underlying basis, revenues increased 4%. Revenues from the Risk and Insurance Services segment were $1.6 bn, up 2% on an underlying basis, while the Consulting segment's revenues rose 6% to $1.5 bn. Operating income rose 4% to $461 mn, and operating margin improved 100 basis points to 15.6%. Investment income reported was $34 mn, up from $26 mn in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings per share grew 12.5% to 63 cents beating analysts’ average forecast of 60 cents.

Marsh & McLennan bought back 9.9 mn shares for $550 mn during the quarter, bringing year-to-date tally to $1.3 bn. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 11% to 31 cents per share, which offers annualized dividend yield of 2.2%.

My outlook for Marsh & McLennan remains optimistic. The company’s stable growth is mainly attributed to its aggressive M&A strategy aiding in expanded scale and size of its businesses across geographies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America. The ongoing economic recovery has been complementing well with the company’s high-standard products and services, thereby supporting client retention. At the same time, Marsh & McLennan’s consistent cash flow generation has also facilitated effective capital deployment, reflected by regular share buybacks and dividend hikes.

In my opinion, shares of Marsh & McLennan’s are well positioned to continue growth to a $60 mark.