Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (MMC): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Marsh & McLennan Companies ( MMC) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Marsh & McLennan Companies rose 35 cents (1.1%) to $33.74 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.6 million shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $33.29-$33.91 after having opened the day at $33.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.39. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), up 12.2%, Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), up 12%, J.W. Mays ( MAYS), up 11.1%, and Bank of the James Financial Group ( BOTJ), up 10%.
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Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services company, provides advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a market cap of $18.06 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.5, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Marsh & McLennan Companies a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marsh & McLennan Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Jacksonville Bancorp Inc (FL ( JAXB), down 18.5%, Duff & Phelps Corporation Class A ( DUF), down 8.8%, Carolina Trust Bank ( CART), down 7.5%, and iStar Financial ( SFI), down 6.2%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Digital Realty ( DLR) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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