Shares of Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) have earned an average broker rating score of 3.25 (Hold) from the four analysts that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and three have issued a hold recommendation on the company. Mercury General’s rating score has improved by 7.1% in the last three months as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokers have set a 1-year consensus target price of $50.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.21 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Mercury General an industry rank of 169 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Mercury General from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered Mercury General from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, October 28th.

NYSE:MCY traded down $0.50 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $49.67. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 270,078 shares, compared to its average volume of 287,771. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.47 and a beta of 0.21. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $49.51 and a 200-day moving average of $55.49. The company has a current ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 0.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. Mercury General has a 52-week low of $46.69 and a 52-week high of $65.22.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 28th. The insurance provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.00 by ($0.22). The business had revenue of $983.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $968.71 million. Mercury General had a net margin of 5.43% and a return on equity of 6.81%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.11 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Mercury General will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 26th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 12th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 11th. This is a positive change from Mercury General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio is 139.44%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Stephens Inc. AR grew its holdings in shares of Mercury General by 2.2% during the second quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 28,774 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,798,000 after purchasing an additional 609 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Mercury General by 1.1% during the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 19,686 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,230,000 after purchasing an additional 215 shares during the last quarter. 6 Meridian purchased a new position in shares of Mercury General during the third quarter worth about $552,000. Flinton Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Mercury General by 9.1% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 12,988 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $812,000 after purchasing an additional 1,088 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Mercury General by 30.2% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 54,334 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,036,000 after purchasing an additional 12,589 shares during the last quarter. 41.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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