The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Aon met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded slightly and GAAP earnings per share improved significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
Aon logged revenue of $2.99 billion. The nine analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw net sales of $3.00 billion. Sales were 2.9% higher than the prior-year quarter's $2.91 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.97. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.96 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.82 for Q4 were 24% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.66 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 44.0%, 300 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 16.1%, 90 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.3%, 140 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.85 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.86.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $11.65 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.62.
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 142 members out of 162 rating the stock outperform, and 20 members rating it underperform. Among 57 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 53 give Aon a green thumbs-up, and four give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Aon is outperform, with an average price target of $54.13.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Aon. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Aon. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.