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Here's Why Hold is an Apt Strategy for CME Group (CME) Stock

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CME Group’s (CME - Free Report) compelling product portfolio, global presence, focus on over-the-counter clearing services, effective capital deployment and favorable growth estimates make it worth retaining in one’s portfolio.

CME Group has a decent surprise history, having surpassed earnings estimates in the last eight quarters.

Zacks Rank and Price Movement

CME currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of CME Group have lost 23.7% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 32.8%.

Zacks Investment Research
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Optimistic Growth Projection

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings is pegged at $7.97, indicating a year-over-year improvement of 19.5% on 7.6% higher revenues of $5 billion. The consensus estimate for 2023 earnings is pegged at $8.32, which indicates a year-over-year improvement of about 4.4% on 2.6% higher revenues of $5.2 billion.

The expected long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 7.8%.

Northbound Estimate Movement

The consensus estimate for 2022 and 2023 earnings has moved 1.1% north each in the past 30 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism.

Growth Drivers

CME Group is the largest futures exchange in the world, in terms of trading volume as well as notional value traded and boasts a solid market presence with 90% market share of global futures trading and clearing services. Increasing electronic trading volume adds scalability and hence leverage to CME Group’s operating model.

With increased volatility driving better volumes, CME’s clearing and transaction fees should rise, contributing the lion’s share to the top line.  Increased adoption of a greater number of crypto assets with increased interest across the entire crypto economy should add to the upside.

Focus on improving non-transactional revenues should fuel the top line.

CME Group’s financial flexibility is supported by its solid balance leads. This supports investments in several growth initiatives, including organic market data growth and new product extensions and offerings, in turn driving growth as well as effective capital deployment.

Impressive Dividend History

CME Group has increased dividends at a five-year CAGR (2018-2022) of 8.7%. The dividend yield is 2%, better than the industry average of 1.1%, making the stock an attractive pick for yield-seeking investors. Interestingly, CME Group pays five dividends per year with the fifth being variable, based on excess cash flow in the year.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the finance sector are Cboe Global Markets (CBOE - Free Report) , W.R. Berkley (WRB - Free Report) and Radian Group (RDN - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Cboe Global’s earnings surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters, missed in one, the average earnings surprise being 4.92%. Year to date, CBOE stock has lost 10%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CBOE’s 2022 and 2023 earnings per share indicates year-over-year increases of 11.2% and 2.6%, respectively.

W.R. Berkley’s earnings surpassed estimates in the last four quarters, the average beat being 25.63%. Year to date, WRB has gained 26.9%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for WRB’s 2022 and 2023 earnings implies a 26.2% and 10.4% year-over-year increase, respectively.

The bottom line of Radian Group surpassed earnings estimates in the last four quarters, the average beat being 45.10%. Year to date, the insurer has lost 7.6%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RDN 2022 earnings indicates a year-over-year increase of 49.5% and has moved 16.9% north in the past 30 days.

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