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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Marsh & McLennan's stock to reach $72 in medium term

I remain upbeat about the shares of Marsh & McLennan, a US-based multinational professional services firm. Recently, the company issued solid financials for the second quarter of 2016. Consolidated revenues increased 5% y-o-y to $3.4 bn reflecting growth across all operating segments and surpassed consensus estimate of $3.3 bn. Risk & Insurance Services revenues were $1.8 bn, up 6% from the year-ago quarter, while Consulting revenues rose 4% to $1.5 bn. Adjusted operating income jumped 14% to $734 mn, and operating margin expanded 190 basis points to 21.8%. Adjusted earnings per share grew 14% to 91 cents, in line with analysts’ average projection.

During the reported quarter, Marsh & McLennan bought back 3.5 mn shares for $225 mn bringing the six-month tally to $425 mn. Besides, in May, the company approved a 9.7% hike in its quarterly dividend to 34 cents per share, which offers a healthy annualized dividend yield of 2%.

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 going forward. 

Shares of Marsh & McLennan are trading within a triangle formation, above 50-day moving average. I'd buy on breaking the triangle to the upside, with medium-term target at $72.