This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

William Blair's 7 Favorite Financial Stocks for 2012

Stocks in this article: MA V MS AON WXS ONE DLLR

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

MasterCard (MA)

Company Profile: Like Visa, MasterCard is a global payments processor. The company says its worldwide network processes more than 23 billion transactions each year.

Share Price: $371.45 (Dec. 6)

2011 Return: 65.8%

Investment Thesis: Analysts at William Blair say MasterCard, like Visa, will continue to gain from electronic payments. They note that MasterCard's business, like Visa's, faces substantial barriers to entry and that high incremental margins should drive operating margin expansion for MasterCard over time.

Also like Visa, William Blair analyst say MasterCard's guidance for the coming year could prove to be conservative.

"Management recently affirmed its 2011 to 2013 objectives of growing constant-currency revenue and EPS at a compound annual rate of 12% to 14% and more than 20%, respectively, while maintaining operating margins at a minimum of 50%," the analysts write. "We anticipate long-term sustainable EPS growth of 15% based on the secular tailwinds, modest margin expansion, and capital redeployment."

Aon Corp. (AON)

Company Profile: Aon is a provider of risk-management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and human capital and management consulting. In July 2010, the company announced a merger with Hewitt Associates, an HR consulting and outsourcing company.

Share Price: $46.30 (Dec. 6)

2011 Return: 0.7%

Investment Thesis: William Blair analysts see several catalysts for Aon Corp. in 2012, the most notable of which is the merger with Hewitt, which should reap rewards next year. The analysts forecast a 100-basis-point improvement in pretax margin for 2012 and a 250-basis-point improvement for 2013.

"The margin in the brokerage segment has finally begun showing progress," the analysts write. "With forecast organic growth remaining solid (our estimate is 3% for 2012), the segment should be able to secure additional margin expansion for the next few years. We forecast 40 basis points of pretax margin improvement during 2012 and 2013."

Additionally, William Blair expects Aon's free cash flow growth to remain robust and their forecast assumes 30 million of share repurchases over the next two years, which they argue could be a conservative number if the cash flow from the merger with Hewitt. accelerates into 2012.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

2 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,043.24 -10.47 -0.06%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs