Westwood Holdings Group Inc. Boosts Stake in Markel Co. (MKL)

Westwood Holdings Group Inc. increased its position in Markel Co. (NYSE:MKL) by 18.0% in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 8,538 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,301 shares during the period. Westwood Holdings Group Inc.’s holdings in Markel were worth $9,726,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MKL. Vident Investment Advisory LLC raised its stake in Markel by 27.8% during the 4th quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 666 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $759,000 after acquiring an additional 145 shares during the last quarter. Sather Financial Group Inc raised its stake in Markel by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Sather Financial Group Inc now owns 14,520 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $16,540,000 after acquiring an additional 55 shares during the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC raised its stake in Markel by 32.5% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 1,312 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,495,000 after acquiring an additional 322 shares during the last quarter. PEAK6 Investments L.P. purchased a new stake in Markel during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $485,000. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new stake in Markel during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $9,462,000. 78.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Several research firms have commented on MKL. William Blair raised Markel from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday. SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on Markel to $1,200.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Markel from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $1,200.00 price objective on shares of Markel in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Markel from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Markel presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $1,172.00.

In other news, CEO Richard R. Whitt III sold 300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,060.02, for a total transaction of $318,006.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 9,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,231,313.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Vice Chairman Steven A. Markel sold 200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,132.73, for a total value of $226,546.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 107,210 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $121,439,983.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 2,000 shares of company stock valued at $2,227,666. Company insiders own 2.53% of the company’s stock.

Markel Co. (NYSE:MKL) opened at $1,152.34 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,115.45, a P/E ratio of 1,998.81 and a beta of 0.95. Markel Co. has a one year low of $936.95 and a one year high of $1,164.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a current ratio of 0.60.

Markel (NYSE:MKL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The insurance provider reported $6.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $8.55 by ($1.91). The business had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. Markel had a return on equity of 0.39% and a net margin of 6.52%. research analysts anticipate that Markel Co. will post 33.19 earnings per share for the current year.

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About Markel

Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. It monitors and reports its ongoing underwriting operations in three segments: U.S. Insurance, International Insurance and Reinsurance. The Company, through its subsidiary Markel Ventures, Inc (Markel Ventures), owns interests in various industrial and service businesses that operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Markel (NYSE:MKL)

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