Mercury General (MCY) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued 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. “

Separately, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Mercury General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th.

NYSE MCY opened at $52.11 on Wednesday. Mercury General has a 1 year low of $43.46 and a 1 year high of $61.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.44 and a quick ratio of 0.44. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.84 billion, a PE ratio of 28.95 and a beta of 0.23.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The insurance provider reported ($0.26) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by ($1.00). Mercury General had a positive return on equity of 5.91% and a negative net margin of 0.17%. The firm had revenue of $850.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $832.44 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.15 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Mercury General will post 3.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director George Gwyer Braunegg purchased 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 14th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $50.86 per share, with a total value of $25,430.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 34.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new stake in Mercury General during the fourth quarter valued at about $38,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Mercury General during the first quarter valued at about $59,000. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Mercury General by 28.3% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,594 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $83,000 after purchasing an additional 352 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its holdings in Mercury General by 460.9% during the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,266 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after purchasing an additional 1,862 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Mercury General during the third quarter valued at about $134,000. 48.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Mercury General

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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