Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Markel have outperformed the industry year to date. Markel strives to grow via acquisitions and organic initiatives as these only diversify and strengthen its portfolio but also expand its international footprint. Despite soft market conditions, it continues to deliver solid results banking on the strength of its underwriting, investment and Markel Ventures operations. Markel stands to benefit from insurance, investments and Markel ventures, which well position it for long-term growth. However, the company did not witness any estimate revision for 2017 and 2018 over the last 60 days. Escalating expenses weighing on margin expansion remain a concern. Also, dependence on few brokers for revenue generation is a headwind.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on MKL. Boenning Scattergood set a $1,050.00 price objective on Markel Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. ValuEngine upgraded Markel Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $1,050.00 target price on shares of Markel Corporation in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Markel Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Markel Corporation has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $1,050.00.

Markel Corporation (NYSE MKL) traded up 0.56% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $1083.52. 7,914 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $1,048.11 and its 200 day moving average price is $1,000.46. Markel Corporation has a 52 week low of $811.05 and a 52 week high of $1,086.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.47 and a beta of 1.03.

Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The insurance provider reported $9.94 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $6.27 by $3.67. The business had revenue of $1.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.46 billion. Markel Corporation had a net margin of 7.58% and a return on equity of 4.81%. Equities research analysts expect that Markel Corporation will post $27.56 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, Vice Chairman Steven A. Markel sold 3,875 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,074.48, for a total transaction of $4,163,610.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 109,650 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $117,816,732. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Bradley James Kiscaden sold 350 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,074.56, for a total transaction of $376,096.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,817 shares in the company, valued at $7,325,275.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 5,927 shares of company stock valued at $6,331,220. 2.53% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Proficio Capital Partners LLC grew its stake in Markel Corporation by 40.3% in the second quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 94 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Korea Investment CORP increased its holdings in Markel Corporation by 138.9% during the 2nd quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 129 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares during the period. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Markel Corporation during the 2nd quarter worth $166,000. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its holdings in Markel Corporation by 11.0% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 171 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 17 shares during the period. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP increased its holdings in Markel Corporation by 775.0% during the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 210 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $204,000 after purchasing an additional 186 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.47% of the company’s stock.

About Markel Corporation

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.

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