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Why Should You Hold Marsh & McLennan (MMC) in Your Portfolio?

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. MMC continues to gain from inorganic growth strategies and rising revenues. The leading insurance broker’s favorable growth estimates make it worthy of retention in one’s portfolio.

Marsh & McLennan has a solid surprise history of beating on earnings in each of the last four quarters, the average being 13.45%. This, in turn, underlines its operational excellence. MMC’s stock has witnessed its 2022 earnings estimate move 0.4% north over the past 30 days.

Marsh & McLennan’s trailing 12-month return on equity (ROE) reinforces its growth potential. MMC’s 31.6% ROE betters its industry average of 28.8%, reflecting its efficiency in utilizing its shareholders’ funds.

The leading broker is well-poised for growth on the back of its strategic initiatives.

MMC made numerous purchases within its different operating units that have so far enabled it to tap new geographies, expand within its existing territories, foray into new businesses, develop new segments and specialize within its prevalent operations. In 2019, Marsh & McLennan  bought JLT to enhance its portfolio.

Last year marked a record period for Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) with regard to acquired revenues since its establishment in 2009. As a case in point, MMC completed eight transactions during the same time frame, fetching combined revenues of around $235 million. In the first nine months of 2021, MMC spent $401 million on buyouts. The Risk and Insurance Services segment completed three acquisitions in the first nine months.

Marsh & McLennan’s operating performance has been favorable for the past many years, driven by its diverse product offerings, a broad geographic footprint and strong client retention. Its revenues have been increasing consistently since 2010 (except in 2015). The trend continued in the first nine months of 2021 as well, with revenues improving 14.6% on an underlying basis from the prior-year comparable period’s level, courtesy of strong Risk & Insurances Services and Consulting segments.

MMC’s investment income is also bouncing back as the economy is on the mend. In the first nine months of 2021, the same came in at $43 million, aided by the private equity portfolio.

The Risk and Insurance Services segment, which operates through Marsh and Guy Carpenter, delivered solid results for the last few quarters. In 2020, revenues from the same rose 8% year over year, accounting for approximately 60% of the insurance brokerage provider's total last-year revenues. In the first nine months of 2021, the segmental metric amounted to $9 billion, up 15.8% from the year-ago figure in the comparable period, on an underlying basis.

Marsh & McLennan has maintained consistent cash flow generation for several years. Its disciplined capital management through share buybacks and dividend payments cemented investors’ trust in the stock.

For the current year, this presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player’s earnings estimate suggests an upside of 23.74% from the year-ago reported figure. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Price Performance

Year to date, this leading insurance broker has surged 45.2%, outperforming its industry's growth of 27.9%.

Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Aflac AFL, ProAssurance Corp. PRA and RLI Corp. RLI, all holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present.

Aflac is a general business holding company and oversees the operations of its subsidiaries by providing management services and making capital available. AFL managed to deliver a trailing four-quarter surprise of 18.32%, on average. Its shares have gained 25% year to date.

ProAssurance operates as a holding company for many property and casualty insurance companies. PRA came up with a last four-quarter beat of 233.34%, on average, and the stock has rallied 33.8% year to date.

RLI Corp. is a specialty property-casualty (P&C) underwriter that caters primarily to the niche markets through its main operating subsidiary RLI Insurance Company. RLI’s shares have gained 4.4% year to date. RLI’s earnings managed to surpass estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average being 39.84%.

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RLI Corp. (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
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