Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) and United Insurance Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:UIHC) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Dividends

United Insurance Holdings Corp. pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Markel Corporation does not pay a dividend. United Insurance Holdings Corp. pays out 1,200.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Markel Corporation and United Insurance Holdings Corp.’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Markel Corporation $5.75 billion 2.55 $948.88 million $28.92 36.47
United Insurance Holdings Corp. $559.34 million 1.20 $28.75 million $0.02 787.00

Markel Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than United Insurance Holdings Corp.. Markel Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than United Insurance Holdings Corp., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Markel Corporation has a beta of 1.03, meaning that its share price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Insurance Holdings Corp. has a beta of 1.61, meaning that its share price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Markel Corporation and United Insurance Holdings Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Markel Corporation 7.58% 4.81% 1.57%
United Insurance Holdings Corp. 0.73% 4.99% 1.34%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

76.6% of Markel Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.3% of United Insurance Holdings Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Markel Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 22.6% of United Insurance Holdings Corp. shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Markel Corporation and United Insurance Holdings Corp., as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Markel Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
United Insurance Holdings Corp. 0 1 2 1 3.00

Markel Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $1,050.00, suggesting a potential downside of 0.44%. United Insurance Holdings Corp. has a consensus target price of $15.25, suggesting a potential downside of 3.11%. Given Markel Corporation’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Markel Corporation is more favorable than United Insurance Holdings Corp..

Summary

Markel Corporation beats United Insurance Holdings Corp. on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Markel Corporation Company Profile

Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. It monitors and reports its ongoing underwriting operations in three segments: U.S. Insurance, International Insurance and Reinsurance. The Company, through its subsidiary Markel Ventures, Inc. (Markel Ventures), owns interests in various industrial and service businesses that operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace. The U.S. Insurance segment includes all direct business and facultative placements written by its insurance subsidiaries domiciled in the United States. The International Insurance segment includes all direct business and facultative placements written by its insurance subsidiaries domiciled outside of the United States, including its syndicate at Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s). The Reinsurance segment includes all treaty reinsurance written across the Company.

United Insurance Holdings Corp. Company Profile

United Insurance Holdings Corp. is a property and casualty insurance holding company that sources, writes and services residential property and casualty insurance policies using a network of agents and a group of insurance subsidiaries. The Company’s insurance subsidiary is United Property & Casualty Insurance Company. Its other subsidiaries include United Insurance Management, L.C., the managing general agent that manages substantially all aspects of United Property & Casualty Insurance Company’s business; Skyway Claims Services, LLC, which provides services to its insurance affiliate; UPC Re, which provides a portion of the reinsurance protection purchased by its insurance affiliate. The Company’s principal product is homeowners’ insurance, which it offers in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Texas.

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