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

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, 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. “

MCY has been the subject of several other research reports. TheStreet cut shares of UDR from a b rating to a c rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of USINAS SIDERURG/S from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th.

NYSE:MCY opened at $64.32 on Wednesday. Mercury General has a 1 year low of $43.46 and a 1 year high of $65.22. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $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. The company has a market capitalization of $3.56 billion, a PE ratio of 24.74, a P/E/G ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 0.24.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.87 earnings per share 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $917.25 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.07 EPS. Mercury General’s revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Mercury General will post 3.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 27th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 13th were given a $0.6275 dividend. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 12th. This is a boost from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Mercury General’s payout ratio is 139.44%.

In related news, VP Charles Toney sold 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.45, for a total value of $36,270.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 11,803 shares in the company, valued at approximately $713,491.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 34.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MCY. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. acquired a new stake in Mercury General during the 1st quarter worth $43,981,000. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Mercury General during the 4th quarter worth $31,116,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. grew its holdings in Mercury General by 27.2% during the 1st quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 974,440 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $48,790,000 after acquiring an additional 208,274 shares during the period. GWM Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Mercury General by 3,615.5% during the 1st quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 203,052 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $941,000 after acquiring an additional 197,587 shares during the period. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG grew its holdings in Mercury General by 146.7% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 200,756 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $10,378,000 after acquiring an additional 119,369 shares during the period. 43.62% 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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