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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Marsh & McLennan set to continue growth

I remain upbeat about the shares of Marsh & McLennan, a US-based multinational professional services firm. Recently, the company issued solid financials for the first quarter of 2016. Revenues increased 3.8% y-o-y to $3.3 bn and marginally surpassed consensus estimate. Marsh's revenues came in at $1.5 bn, up 2% on an underlying basis. Underlying revenues grew 2% in international operations, which reflects 6% growth in Latin America, 3% in Asia Pacific and 1% in EMEA. The US-Canada region reported a 2% increase in revenues. Mercer's revenues were $1 bn, up 3% on an underlying basis. Adjusted operating margin was 22.1%, and adjusted earnings per share climbed 1.1% to 92 cents beating analysts’ average projection by 3.4%.

During Q1, Marsh & McLennan bought back 3.5 mn shares for $200 mn. A quarterly dividend was 31 cents per share, which offers a healthy dividend yield of 1.9%.

To note, Marsh & McLennan regularly undertakes strategic acquisitions to enhance its growth profile. In April, the company acquired insurance broker Corporate Consulting Services, which will further boost its already robust employee benefits services. In March, the company bought Celedinas Insurance Group for nation-wide expansion of its private client capabilities. Earlier this year, Marsh & McLennan acquired UK-based insurance broker Jelf Group and CPSG Partners, a provider of Workday implementation services.

I believe that the recent acquisitions and well-executed restructuring initiatives will allow Marsh & McLennan to continue to deliver solid financials in the coming quarters. 

I expect shares of Marsh & McLennan to continue growth, with medium-term target at $70.