Zacks Investment Research Lowers Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Mercury General Corp. is engaged primarily in writing all risk classifications of automobile insurance in a number of states, principally California. The company offers automobile policyholders the following types of coverage: bodily injury liability, underinsured and uninsured motorist, property damage liability, comprehensive, collision and other hazards specified in the policy. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on MCY. ValuEngine raised shares of USINAS SIDERURG/S from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. TheStreet cut shares of UDR from a b rating to a c rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th.

Shares of NYSE:MCY opened at $64.32 on Wednesday. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $60.67. The company has a quick ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. Mercury General has a one year low of $43.46 and a one year high of $65.22. The company has a market cap of $3.56 billion, a PE ratio of 24.74, a PEG ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 0.24.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.10. Mercury General had a net margin of 4.78% and a return on equity of 8.50%. The firm had revenue of $919.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $917.25 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.07 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Mercury General will post 3.55 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 27th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 13th were issued a $0.6275 dividend. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.90%. This is a boost from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 12th. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio is presently 139.44%.

In other news, VP Charles Toney sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.45, for a total value of $36,270.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 11,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $713,491.35. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 34.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. acquired a new position in Mercury General in the 1st quarter valued at about $43,981,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in Mercury General by 20.2% in the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 142,014 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $7,344,000 after buying an additional 23,884 shares during the last quarter. Ibex Investors LLC acquired a new position in Mercury General in the 4th quarter valued at about $213,000. Two Sigma Investments LP grew its stake in Mercury General by 25.5% in the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 225,576 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $11,665,000 after buying an additional 45,786 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its stake in Mercury General by 25.7% in the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 3,055 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 624 shares during the last quarter. 43.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Mercury General Company Profile

Mercury General Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal automobile insurance in the United States. The company also writes homeowners, commercial automobile, commercial property, mechanical protection, fire, and umbrella insurance. Its automobile insurance products cover collision, property damage, bodily injury, comprehensive, personal injury protection, underinsured and uninsured motorist, and other hazards; and homeowners' insurance products cover dwelling, liability, personal property, fire, and other hazards.

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