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

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, 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 lowered shares of Mercury General from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th.

Mercury General stock opened at $53.11 on Wednesday. Mercury General has a 52 week low of $43.46 and a 52 week high of $61.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a current ratio of 0.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.51 and a beta of 0.23.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 11th. The insurance provider reported ($0.26) EPS for the quarter, missing the 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 business had revenue of $850.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $832.44 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.15 earnings per share. Mercury General’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Mercury General will post 3.5 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Mercury General news, Director George Gwyer Braunegg acquired 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 14th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $50.86 per share, for a total transaction of $25,430.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 34.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new position in Mercury General in the 4th quarter valued at about $38,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in Mercury General in the 1st quarter valued at about $59,000. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Mercury General by 28.3% in the 4th 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 in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its holdings in Mercury General by 460.9% in the 3rd 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 in the last quarter. Finally, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Mercury General in the 3rd quarter valued at about $134,000. Institutional investors own 48.72% of the company’s stock.

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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