Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) Trading Up -1.1% Following Strong Earnings

Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) rose 1.1% during mid-day trading on Tuesday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock traded as high as $60.26 and last traded at $59.21, with a volume of 130,374 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $59.89.

The insurance provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $852.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $815.85 million. Mercury General Corporation had a net margin of 2.45% and a return on equity of 6.66%. The company’s revenue was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.88 earnings per share.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 14th will be given a $0.6225 dividend. This represents a $2.49 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.29%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 13th. Mercury General Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 172.92%.

MCY has been the topic of several research analyst reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Mercury General Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mercury General Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd.

In related news, VP Randall R. Petro sold 1,672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.52, for a total transaction of $92,829.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Gabriel Tirador sold 2,355 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.00, for a total transaction of $138,945.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 36,239 shares in the company, valued at $2,138,101. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 34.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its position in Mercury General Corporation by 1.1% in the first quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 6,229 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $380,000 after buying an additional 70 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its position in Mercury General Corporation by 1.4% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 5,850 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $316,000 after buying an additional 81 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its position in Mercury General Corporation by 2.9% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,308 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 92 shares in the last quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its position in Mercury General Corporation by 0.7% in the first quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 14,800 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $903,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tyers Asset Management LLC raised its position in Mercury General Corporation by 6.3% in the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 1,904 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 112 shares in the last quarter. 46.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $55.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $57.55. The firm has a market cap of $3.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.63 and a beta of 0.50.

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About Mercury General Corporation

Mercury General Corporation is an insurance holding company. As of December 31, 2016, the Company and its subsidiaries were engaged in writing personal automobile insurance through 14 insurance subsidiaries in 11 states, principally California. Its segments include Property and Casualty Lines, and Other Lines.

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