Mercury General Co. (MCY) Receives Average Recommendation of “Sell” from Analysts

Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) has been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 3.50 (Sell) from the two brokers that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and one has assigned a hold recommendation to the company. Mercury General’s rating score has declined by 16.7% in the last 90 days as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokerages have set a 1-year consensus price objective of $53.00 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.74 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Mercury General an industry rank of 184 out of 256 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MCY shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mercury General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine cut shares of Mercury General from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $69.00 price target on shares of Mercury General and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 29th.

NYSE:MCY opened at $51.48 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. The company has a market capitalization of $2.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.39 and a beta of 0.30. Mercury General has a 12 month low of $41.40 and a 12 month high of $61.83.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last released its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The insurance provider reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.38. The company had revenue of $905.34 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $877.06 million. Mercury General had a net margin of 2.80% and a return on equity of 7.13%. Mercury General’s revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Mercury General will post 2.8 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 13th were issued a $0.6275 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 12th. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.88%. This is a positive change from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio is currently 153.05%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new position in Mercury General in the 2nd quarter valued at $4,082,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Mercury General by 1,543.1% during the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,523 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $297,000 after buying an additional 6,126 shares during the last quarter. Man Group plc acquired a new position in Mercury General during the third quarter worth approximately $8,441,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Mercury General by 4.8% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 537,048 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $24,469,000 after buying an additional 24,606 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Mercury General by 2.1% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,945,009 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $134,175,000 after buying an additional 61,532 shares during the last quarter. 47.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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