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Is it Worth Holding CME Group (CME) Stock in Your Portfolio?

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Shares of CME Group Inc. (CME - Free Report) jumped 29.7% in the last one year, outperforming 28.6% increase for the Zacks categorized Securities Exchanges industry. We see strong upside potential for the stock in the near term, given the company’s fundamental strength.

Why Retain the Stock?

CME Group boasts about 90% market share of the global futures trading and clearing services. We expect expansion of futures products in emerging markets, non-transaction related opportunities and OTC offerings to continue contributing modestly to top-line growth going forward.

The company remains focused on investments in several areas, including organic market data growth and new product extensions and offerings. Hence, management expects organic market data revenue growth of 5–6% over the next few years, with 2017 being back-end loaded.



CME Group remains committed to pay back its shareholders. The company pays five dividends a year. Of these, the fifth payout is variable and depends on excess cash flow in the year. Solid liquidity supports healthy capital deployment as well as maintains financial flexibility.

Efforts to expand and cross-sell through strategic alliances, acquisitions, new product initiatives and global presence should drive growth. The expected long-term earnings growth rate is currently pegged at 10%.

CME Group has been witnessing upward estimate revisions over the last two months. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter moved up 0.4% to $4.90 for 2017 and 1.7% to $5.32 for 2018. The positive earnings estimate revisions indicate analysts’ confidence in this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the financial sector are American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG - Free Report) , Selective Insurance Group, Inc. (SIGI - Free Report) and White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (WTM - Free Report) . Each of these stocks flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

American Financial Group engages primarily in property and casualty (P&C) insurance with focus on specialized commercial products for businesses. Shares of the company gained 8.4% year to date.

Selective Insurance provides insurance products and services in the United States. Its shares rallied 11.5% year to date.

White Mountains engages in insurance, reinsurance, and insurance services businesses. Its shares appreciated 8.0% year to date.

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