Zacks: Analysts Set $49.00 Price Target for Mercury General Co. (MCY)

Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) has been given a consensus broker rating score of 3.50 (Sell) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and one has issued a hold recommendation on the company.

Brokers have set a 1-year consensus price objective of $49.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.91 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Mercury General an industry rank of 52 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

MCY has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. TheStreet upgraded Mercury General from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. ValuEngine upgraded Mercury General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Mercury General from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st.

In other Mercury General news, Director George Gwyer Braunegg acquired 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 14th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $50.86 per share, for a total transaction of $25,430.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 34.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Mercury General during the 4th quarter worth approximately $38,000. Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new position in Mercury General during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $289,000. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in Mercury General by 35.9% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,677 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $294,000 after purchasing an additional 1,501 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio acquired a new position in Mercury General during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $344,000. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System boosted its position in Mercury General by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 19,463 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,006,000 after purchasing an additional 212 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.89% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:MCY opened at $56.18 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.43. Mercury General has a 1-year low of $43.46 and a 1-year high of $61.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.21, a P/E/G ratio of 0.42 and a beta of 0.26.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.10. Mercury General had a return on equity of 8.50% and a net margin of 4.78%. The business had revenue of $919.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $917.25 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.07 EPS. Mercury General’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Mercury General will post 3.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 13th will be given a dividend of $0.6275 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 12th. This is a positive change from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.47%. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 139.44%.

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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