Marsh & McLennan Cos., the largest insurance brokerage in the world, reported a 2.9% increase in 2Q profit to $177 million, or $0.31/share, on sales growth of 7% to $2.82b. Adjusted EPS of $0.29 came up short of analysts' average estimate of $0.36, but revenues topped expectations of $2.75b. Marsh's board of directors approved a $1.5b share repurchase program, which president and CEO Michael G. Cherkasky said will "begin as soon as possible." Expected net proceeds of $2.5b from its $3.9b sale of Putnam Investments which closed last week will be used to fund the buyback. Sales rose 1.6% to $1.12b at its flagship insurance brokerage Marsh Inc., for the first time since 2004, when it faced allegations of bid-rigging. Marsh completed its previously announced $500m buyback in July. Shares of Marsh gained 2.9% to $27.65 on Monday and are untraded so far in the pre-market.
Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch
Commentary: Weekly Earnings Preview: The Roller Coaster Comes To An End • Upcoming Ex-Dividend Dates For Russell 1,000 Stocks Yielding Over 2% • Marsh & McLennan An LBO Candidate? Inside Sources Say No
Stocks/ETFs to watch: MMC. Competitors: AIG, AOC, ING, WSH. ETFs: KIE
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