Stephens Inc. AR decreased its holdings in Markel Co. (NYSE:MKL) by 16.2% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 681 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after selling 132 shares during the quarter. Stephens Inc. AR’s holdings in Markel were worth $678,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Security Asset Management increased its stake in Markel by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Security Asset Management now owns 1,897 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,969,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Front Street Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Markel by 1.3% during the 1st quarter. Front Street Capital Management Inc. now owns 861 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $858,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank increased its stake in Markel by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 482 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $472,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Markel by 7.5% during the 4th quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC now owns 200 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $208,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its stake in Markel by 17.6% during the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 100 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. 76.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

NYSE:MKL traded up $9.03 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $1,066.67. 13,216 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 49,412. Markel Co. has a 52-week low of $950.16 and a 52-week high of $1,228.32. The company has a current ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. The firm has a market cap of $14.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 51.96 and a beta of 0.87.

MKL has been the subject of several research reports. TheStreet lowered Markel from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. ValuEngine lowered Markel from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. SunTrust Banks boosted their price objective on Markel to $1,100.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Markel from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $1,121.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, April 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $1,173.67.

In other news, Vice Chairman Steven A. Markel sold 100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,004.41, for a total value of $100,441.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 101,417 shares in the company, valued at $101,864,248.97. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman Steven A. Markel sold 80 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,000.86, for a total value of $80,068.80. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 101,265 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $101,352,087.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders bought 400 shares of company stock valued at $398,556 and sold 1,393 shares valued at $1,398,416. 2.34% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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Markel Profile

Markel Corporation, a diverse financial holding company, markets and underwrites specialty insurance products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and internationally. It operates through three segments: U.S. Insurance, International Insurance, and Reinsurance. The U.S. Insurance segment offers general and professional liability, property, personal line, program, and workers' compensation insurance products, as well as other insurance product lines, such as ocean marine, surety, CPI, and coverages.

Further Reading: Beige Book

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Markel (NYSE:MKL)

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