Marsh & McLennan Companies Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (NYSE:MMC)

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 3,080 put options on the company. This is an increase of 3,799% compared to the average daily volume of 79 put options.

Shares of MMC stock opened at $101.56 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $52.46 billion, a PE ratio of 23.35, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a quick ratio of 2.21, a current ratio of 2.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $99.43. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a 12 month low of $74.30 and a 12 month high of $103.36.

Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $4.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.19 billion. Marsh & McLennan Companies had a net margin of 11.16% and a return on equity of 29.72%. Marsh & McLennan Companies’s revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.23 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Marsh & McLennan Companies will post 4.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, July 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.455 per share. This is a boost from Marsh & McLennan Companies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $1.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 10th. Marsh & McLennan Companies’s dividend payout ratio is presently 41.84%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies by 4.5% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,532,594 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $122,219,000 after acquiring an additional 66,176 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies by 6.6% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,628,096 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $527,675,000 after acquiring an additional 410,471 shares during the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP acquired a new position in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies in the 4th quarter worth $813,000. Arete Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies in the 4th quarter worth $326,000. Finally, 1832 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies in the 4th quarter worth $1,605,000. Institutional investors own 85.03% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Yext from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $100.00 to $99.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of AON in a research report on Friday, April 5th. UBS Group increased their target price on shares of Willis Towers Watson from $202.00 to $220.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a GBX 150 ($1.96) target price on shares of in a research report on Monday, June 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $96.33.

About Marsh & McLennan Companies

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, reinsurance broking, catastrophe and financial modeling, and related advisory services; and insurance program management services.

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