Markel (NYSE:MKL) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Markel (NYSE:MKLGet Rating) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Friday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $1,470.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Markel Corporation outperformed the industry in a year. The insurer strives to grow via acquisitions and organic initiatives as these not only diversify and strengthen its portfolio but also expand its international footprint. Solid performance at Insurance and Reinsurance segments should drive premiums. Markel stands to benefit from its niche focus and effective management of insurance risk. The company is banking on the strength of its underwriting, investment and Markel Ventures operations, which position it well for long-term growth. The company boasts a sturdy capital position, which enables it to deploy capital effectively. However, increasing expenses could put strain on margin expansion. Also, exposure to catastrophe loss induces underwriting volatility. High debt level raises financial risk for the company.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on MKL. William Blair reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Markel in a report on Thursday, February 3rd. Truist Financial increased their price objective on Markel from $1,400.00 to $1,500.00 in a research report on Thursday. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on Markel in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a hold rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Markel has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $1,506.67.

Shares of NYSE MKL traded down $44.55 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $1,353.28. The company had a trading volume of 50,824 shares, compared to its average volume of 52,690. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $1,397.90 and its 200-day moving average is $1,306.40. Markel has a 1-year low of $1,155.00 and a 1-year high of $1,519.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.57 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.

Markel (NYSE:MKLGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The insurance provider reported $19.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $16.60 by $3.07. Markel had a return on equity of 6.30% and a net margin of 14.33%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $10.12 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Markel will post 74.04 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Anthony F. Markel sold 65 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,266.38, for a total value of $82,314.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Steven A. Markel sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,479.05, for a total value of $2,218,575.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 3,065 shares of company stock worth $4,529,920 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MKL. Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Markel by 32.9% during the 1st quarter. Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund now owns 7,470 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $11,020,000 after purchasing an additional 1,850 shares during the last quarter. Annapolis Financial Services LLC bought a new position in Markel in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $89,000. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Markel by 6.2% in the 1st quarter. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 2,516 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,712,000 after purchasing an additional 147 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Markel by 9.0% in the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 458 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $684,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TownSquare Capital LLC lifted its stake in Markel by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. TownSquare Capital LLC now owns 3,406 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $5,025,000 after purchasing an additional 126 shares during the last quarter. 77.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Markel Company Profile (Get Rating)

Markel Corporation, a diverse financial holding company, markets and underwrites specialty insurance products in the United States, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, rest of Europe, Canada, the Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Its Insurance segment offers general and professional liability, personal lines, marine and energy, specialty programs, and workers' compensation insurance products; and property coverages that include fire, allied lines, and other specialized property coverages, including catastrophe-exposed property risks, such as earthquake and wind.

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