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Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (MMC) Shares Cross 3% Yield Mark

By Dividend Channel Staff, Thursday, November 17, 3:07 PM ET
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In trading on Thursday, shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (NYSE:MMC) were yielding above the 3% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.88), with the stock changing hands as low as $29.04 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) back on 12/31/1998 you would have paid $123.31 per share. Fast forward to 12/31/2010 and each share was worth $125.75 on that date, a mere $2.44 or 2% increase over all those years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $20.53 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 18.6%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.4%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 3% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (NYSE:MMC) is an S&P 500 company, giving it special status as one of the large-cap companies making up the S&P 500 Index.

In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., looking at the history chart for MMC below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 3% annual yield.

MMC Dividend History
Date Div*
10/06/11 0.220
07/07/11 0.220
04/06/11 0.210
01/26/11 0.210
10/06/10 0.210
07/07/10 0.200
04/07/10 0.200
01/27/10 0.200
10/07/09 0.200
07/08/09 0.200
04/07/09 0.200
01/28/09 0.200
10/14/08 0.200
07/03/08 0.200
04/04/08 0.200
01/24/08 0.200
10/11/07 0.190
07/03/07 0.190
04/03/07 0.190
01/22/07 0.190
10/12/06 0.170
07/05/06 0.170
04/05/06 0.170
01/05/06 0.170
10/13/05 0.170
07/05/05 0.170
04/05/05 0.170
03/11/05 0.170
10/13/04 0.340
07/02/04 0.340
04/06/04 0.310
12/31/03 0.310
10/10/03 0.310
07/07/03 0.310
04/07/03 0.280
01/02/03 0.280
10/10/02 0.280
07/05/02 0.280
04/05/02 0.265
01/03/02 0.265
10/11/01 0.265
07/05/01 0.265
04/05/01 0.250
01/04/01 0.250
10/12/00 0.250
07/06/00 0.250
04/06/00 0.225
01/06/00 0.225
10/07/99 0.225
07/08/99 0.225
04/08/99 0.200
01/07/99 0.200
10/07/98 0.200
07/08/98 0.200
04/07/98 0.167
01/07/98 0.167
10/08/97 0.167
07/09/97 0.167
04/09/97 0.150
01/08/97 0.150
10/09/96 0.150
07/09/96 0.133
04/09/96 0.133
01/09/96 0.133
10/06/95 0.133
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

MMC makes up 3.91% of the KBW Insurance Portfolio ETF (AMEX:KBWI)

MMC operates in the Insurance Brokers sector, among companies like Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO) which is down about 1.1% today, and Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) trading lower by about 3.5%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of MMC, versus BRO and GNW.

MMC,BRO,GNW Relative Performance Chart


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