Shares of Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) have received an average broker rating score of 3.50 (Sell) from the two analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and one has issued a hold recommendation on the company.

Brokerages have set a 1-year consensus price target of $49.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.77 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Mercury General an industry rank of 100 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on MCY shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Mercury General from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Mercury General from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd.

In other Mercury General news, Director George Gwyer Braunegg bought 500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 14th. The shares were bought at an average price of $50.86 per share, with a total value of $25,430.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders own 34.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new stake in Mercury General during the 4th quarter worth $38,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in Mercury General by 28.3% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,594 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $83,000 after purchasing an additional 352 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in Mercury General by 460.9% during the 3rd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,266 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 1,862 shares during the last quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Mercury General during the 3rd quarter worth $134,000. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia acquired a new stake in Mercury General during the 3rd quarter worth $195,000. 47.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE MCY opened at $50.69 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.16, a P/E/G ratio of 0.26 and a beta of 0.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 0.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23. Mercury General has a one year low of $43.46 and a one year high of $61.83.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The insurance provider reported ($0.26) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.74 by ($1.00). The company had revenue of $850.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $832.44 million. Mercury General had a positive return on equity of 5.91% and a negative net margin of 0.17%. Mercury General’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.15 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Mercury General will post 3.6 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 28th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 14th will be issued a $0.627 dividend. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.95%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 13th. Mercury General’s payout ratio is presently 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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