Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.
) reported its second-quarter 2012 operating earnings of 61 cents
per share, a couple of pennies ahead of the Zacks Consensus
The results were modestly higher than the year-ago quarter's
earnings of 50 cents per share. Operating net income, which
excludes one-time items in both the periods, escalated 20.1% year
over year to $335 million.
On a reported basis, Marsh & McLennan recorded net income of
$329 million or 59 cents per share in the reported quarter, handily
up from $282 million or 51 cents per share in the prior-year
With the steady recovery in the economic environment, Marsh
& McLennan posted improved results on account of modest
underlying revenue growth and new business development across its
businesses, which also drove the operating margin. The
lower-than-expected expense growth also supported the bottom line,
partially offset by high tax expense.
Consolidated revenues were $3.03 billion, climbing 3.3% on both
year-over-year and 5% on an underlying basis. However, it lagged
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.08 billion.
Further, total expenses inched up 1.8% year over year to $2.51
billion as compensation and benefits grew 2.8% to $1.78 billion,
while other expenses dipped 0.4% to $732 million. Additionally, tax
expenses escalated to $144 million against $129 million in the
year-ago quarter. Nevertheless, adjusted operating margin improved
to 17.3% from 15.8% in the year-ago period.
Revenues for the
Risk and Insurance Services
segment were $1.7 billion, up 5% year over year and 6% on an
underlying basis. Moreover, adjusted operating income jumped 14%
year over year reaching $402 million, reflecting improved
Marsh's revenues came in at $1.4 billion, up 4% year-over-year
and 6% on an underlying basis, driven by strong new businesses and
growth across geography in the quarter. Underlying revenue for
international operations grew 7%, reflecting 14% growth in Latin
America, 10% in Asia Pacific and 5% in EMEA. Moreover, underlying
revenue improved by 4% in the U.S.-Canada region.
Guy Carpenter's revenues during the reported quarter were $275
million, up 7% year over year and 10% on an underlying basis.
segment's revenues moved up 2% year-over-year and 4% on an
underlying basis to $1.3 billion. Additionally, adjusted operating
income grew 14% year over year to $154 million.
's revenues stood at $960 million, up 2% year-over-year and 3% on
an underlying basis. Mercer's retirement operations generated
revenues of $267 million, slightly improving by 1% on an underlying
Additionally, Health & Benefits grew 6% to $255 million,
whereas revenue from the Talent, Rewards & Communications and
Outsourcing edged up 1% year over year to $132 million and $178
million, respectively. Revenue from Investments increased 7% to
's revenues hiked 2% year over year and 8% on an underlying basis
to $381 million in the reported quarter.
During the reported quarter, Marsh & McLennan's total
investment income, including mark-to-market gains in private equity
investments, grew to $4 million against an investment loss of $6
million in 2011. Meanwhile, capital expenditure increased 30.7%
year over year to $98 million.
Marsh & McLennan exited the reported quarter with cash and
cash equivalents of $1.5 billion, down from $2.1 billion in 2011.
Long-term debt marginally declined to $2.66 billion from $2.67
billion at the end of 2011.
As of June 30, 2012, Marsh & McLennan's total assets
depreciated to $15.20 billion, while total shareholders' equity
increased to $6.34 billion from 2011-end.
Additionally, the company bought back 3.1 million shares for
$100 million during the reported quarter, while $453 worth of stock
remains available for repurchases under the current
On May 17, 2012, the board of Marsh & McLennan announced a
5% hike in its quarterly common stock dividend to 23 cents per
share from the prior 22 cents. The increased dividend is payable on
August 15, 2012 to the shareholders of record as on July 11,
On March 14, 2012, the board of Marsh & McLennan announced a
quarterly dividend of 22 cents per share on its common stock, which
was paid on May 15, 2012 to the shareholders of record as on April
The steady growth momentum of Marsh & McLennan over the past
few quarters reflects its ability to sustain fundamental growth
through new business generation and client retention, which is
crucial amid the company's antitrust litigation charges coupled
with a soft pricing environment.
Overall, as a leading global broker, Marsh & McLennan has a
history of outperforming its peers due to its size, diverse product
offering, global presence and technical expertise. Despite sluggish
organic growth, the company is still a dominant player in its
industry, quite next to the leading
). Currently, Marsh & McLennan carries a Zacks Rank #3,
which translates into a short-term Hold rating and long-term
AON PLC (AON): Free Stock Analysis Report
MARSH &MCLENNAN (MMC): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.