Markel (MKL) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Markel (NYSE:MKL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday, January 5th. They currently have $1,253.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Markel have outperformed the industry in a year. It strives to grow via acquisitions and organic initiatives as these not only diversify and strengthen its portfolio but also expand its international footprint. Despite soft market conditions, it continues to deliver solid results banking on the strength of its underwriting, investment and Markel Ventures operations. Markel stands to benefit from insurance, investments and Markel Ventures, which position it well for long-term growth. The latest acquisition of State National Companies will help Markel boost collateral protection insurance coverage capabilities. However, exposure to catastrophe loss will always induce volatility in underwriting results. Escalating expenses weighing on margin expansion remain a concern.”

Several other research analysts have also commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $1,100.00 price target on shares of Markel in a report on Friday, October 27th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a buy rating on shares of Markel in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and set a $1,050.00 target price on shares of Markel in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $1,113.25.

Markel (MKL) traded down $1.16 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $1,105.17. 60,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 40,500. Markel has a 1-year low of $612.00 and a 1-year high of $1,157.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.55 and a quick ratio of 0.55. The firm has a market cap of $15,370.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 246.14 and a beta of 1.04.

In other Markel news, Vice Chairman Steven A. Markel sold 200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,115.78, for a total transaction of $223,156.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 106,712 shares in the company, valued at approximately $119,067,115.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Alan I. Kirshner sold 100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,133.50, for a total transaction of $113,350.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 2,307 shares of company stock valued at $2,535,956 over the last three months. 2.53% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in shares of Markel by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 428 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $418,000 after buying an additional 2 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in shares of Markel by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 590 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $603,000 after buying an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its position in shares of Markel by 11.0% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 171 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $167,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in shares of Markel by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 397 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $387,000 after buying an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky raised its position in shares of Markel by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 6,318 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,165,000 after buying an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.79% of the company’s stock.

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Markel Company Profile

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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