Protective Insurance (PTVCA) & Mercury General (MCY) Head to Head Contrast

Protective Insurance (NASDAQ:PTVCA) and Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, risk, profitability, institutional ownership, earnings and dividends.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

2.0% of Protective Insurance shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 47.6% of Mercury General shares are held by institutional investors. 28.2% of Protective Insurance shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 34.2% of Mercury General shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Protective Insurance and Mercury General’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Protective Insurance $439.17 million 0.68 -$34.08 million N/A N/A
Mercury General $3.38 billion 0.83 -$5.72 million $1.80 28.16

Mercury General has higher revenue and earnings than Protective Insurance.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Protective Insurance and Mercury General, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Protective Insurance 0 0 0 0 N/A
Mercury General 0 0 1 0 3.00

Mercury General has a consensus price target of $69.00, indicating a potential upside of 36.12%. Given Mercury General’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Mercury General is more favorable than Protective Insurance.

Profitability

This table compares Protective Insurance and Mercury General’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Protective Insurance -7.80% -3.67% -1.01%
Mercury General -0.17% 5.91% 1.89%

Risk and Volatility

Protective Insurance has a beta of 0.69, meaning that its stock price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mercury General has a beta of 0.24, meaning that its stock price is 76% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Protective Insurance pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Mercury General pays an annual dividend of $2.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.0%. Mercury General pays out 139.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Mercury General has raised its dividend for 33 consecutive years. Mercury General is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Mercury General beats Protective Insurance on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Protective Insurance

Protective Insurance Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in marketing and underwriting property and casualty insurance products. The company offers a range of fleet transportation insurance products, including commercial motor vehicle liability, physical damage, and general liability insurance; workers compensation insurance; medical and indemnity insurance products; non-trucking motor vehicle liability insurance; fidelity and surety bonds; and inland marine products consisting of cargo insurance. It also provides various additional services, such as risk surveys and analyses, safety program design and monitoring, government compliance assistance, loss control, and cost studies; research, development, and consultation in connection with new insurance programs that comprise development of systems to assist customers in monitoring their accident data; and claims handling services to clients with self-insurance programs. It serves trucking and public transportation fleets, as well as independent contractors in the trucking industry. The company primarily operates in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Protective Insurance Corporation was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.

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. The company sells its policies through a network of independent agents, 100% owned insurance agents, and direct channels in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Mercury General Corporation was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

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