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

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

Brokerages have set a 12-month consensus price target of $49.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.91 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Mercury General an industry rank of 159 out of 256 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Several research analysts recently commented on MCY shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Mercury General from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. TheStreet raised Mercury General from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 30th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Mercury General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 29th.

In other Mercury General news, VP Charles Toney sold 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.45, for a total value of $36,270.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 11,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $713,491.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 34.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MCY. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. purchased a new position in Mercury General during the 1st quarter valued at about $43,981,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Mercury General by 20.2% during the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 142,014 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $7,344,000 after acquiring an additional 23,884 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P boosted its holdings in Mercury General by 91.7% during the 4th quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 39,308 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,033,000 after acquiring an additional 18,801 shares during the period. Ibex Investors LLC purchased a new position in Mercury General during the 4th quarter valued at about $213,000. Finally, Two Sigma Investments LP boosted its holdings in Mercury General by 25.5% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 225,576 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $11,665,000 after acquiring an additional 45,786 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.62% of the company’s stock.

NYSE MCY traded down $0.02 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $63.95. The stock had a trading volume of 97,292 shares, compared to its average volume of 360,070. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $60.23. Mercury General has a twelve month low of $43.46 and a twelve month high of $65.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.43. The company has a market capitalization of $3.59 billion, a PE ratio of 35.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 0.24.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $919.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $917.25 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.07 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Mercury General will post 3.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 13th were paid a $0.6275 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 12th. This is an increase from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.92%. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 139.44%.

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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