Market Overview

Arthur J. Gallagher Buys Weiss Insurance To Boost Brokerage Services

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Earnings Scheduled For October 25, 2018
Earnings Scheduled For July 26, 2018

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. AJG recently purchased Weiss Insurance Agencies, Inc., which is expected to help boost its employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations as well as expand the company's geographical footprint. The financial details of the transaction, however, remain undisclosed.  

Details of the Transaction

Wayne, IL-based Weiss Insurance established in 1905, offers a wide range of employee benefits, property/casualty, financial and retirement products and services as well as human resource consulting services. The company also serves clients throughout Illinois and across the United States. Post takeover, the company will continue to run its business from its current location.

The latest buyout is expected to strengthen the already robust inorganic growth portfolio of the acquirer. Also, Weiss Insurance's in-depth expertise and aforementioned services are anticipated to be highly value accretive to Arthur J. Gallagher's client portfolio. With this buyout, the insurance broker will not only be able to improve its employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations but also grow its footprint in the Midwest region of the United States with better retail property/casualty brokerage services.

Riding High on Acquisitions

Over the past few years, Arthur J. Gallagher's impressive growth has been mainly fueled by organic sales as well as prudent acquisitions and mergers. To that end, the insurance broker has closed 27 acquisitions with annualized revenues of over $129.7 million in the first nine months of 2017. In addition, the company has put in substantial efforts to further accelerate its acquisition activity in the retail employee benefits brokerage and wholesale brokerage areas with a goal to pursue smaller tuck-in mergers for the rest of 2017. Notably, Arthur J. Gallagher's merger and acquisition pipeline remains strong with about $250 million of revenues.

Such strategic initiatives will improve the company's top line, resulting in the overall company's growth. Additionally, the company's brokerage segment has been witnessing excellent results over a considerable period of time. Notably, the company expects better organic growth for this segment in 2018 than 2017. Therefore, Arthur J. Gallagher's stellar growth graph continues to impress investors.

Zacks Rank and Share Price Movement

Arthur J. Gallagher carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have gained 28.1% year to date, outperforming the industry's rally of 23.4%. We expect top-line growth, prudent acquisitions and a strong capital position to drive the shares higher in the near term.


Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the insurance industry include Radian Group Inc. RDN, MetLife, Inc. MET and Prudential Financial, Inc. PRU, each holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here  

Radian Group offers mortgage and real estate products and services in the United States. The company delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 4.52%.

MetLife offers life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management products in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The company delivered positive surprises in all of the last four quarters with an average beat of 9.60%.  

Prudential Financial provides insurance, investment management and other financial products and services in the United States and internationally. The company delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 0.16%.

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The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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