Mercury General (MCY) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong-Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $60.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

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, TheStreet cut Mercury General from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th.

Mercury General (NYSE MCY) traded up $0.74 on Thursday, hitting $53.69. The stock had a trading volume of 223,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 185,744. Mercury General has a 12 month low of $51.58 and a 12 month high of $64.52. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. The company has a market capitalization of $2,970.78, a PE ratio of 29.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.62 and a beta of 0.51.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 30th. The insurance provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.18. Mercury General had a return on equity of 6.47% and a net margin of 3.00%. The company had revenue of $827.42 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $835.00 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.67 earnings per share. Mercury General’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Mercury General will post 1.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 14th were given a $0.625 dividend. This represents a $2.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.66%. This is a boost from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 13th. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio is currently 139.67%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Mercury General by 0.4% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 6,255 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $338,000 after acquiring an additional 26 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Mercury General by 2.9% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,308 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $179,000 after purchasing an additional 92 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Mercury General by 5.4% in the second quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 4,632 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $250,000 after purchasing an additional 236 shares during the period. Comerica Bank lifted its position in Mercury General by 0.9% in the second quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 28,115 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,541,000 after purchasing an additional 252 shares during the period. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its position in Mercury General by 7.3% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 7,360 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $397,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the period. 46.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Mercury General

Mercury General Corporation is an insurance holding company. As of December 31, 2016, the Company and its subsidiaries were engaged in writing personal automobile insurance through 14 insurance subsidiaries in 11 states, principally California. Its segments include Property and Casualty Lines, and Other Lines.

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