Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) Sees Unusually-High Trading Volume After Strong Earnings

Shares of Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) saw unusually-high trading volume on Monday following a better than expected earnings announcement. Approximately 782,073 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 413% from the previous session’s volume of 152,494 shares.The stock last traded at $59.89 and had previously closed at $56.01.

The insurance provider reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.18. Mercury General Corporation had a net margin of 2.45% and a return on equity of 6.66%. The company had revenue of $852.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $815.85 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. Mercury General Corporation’s quarterly revenue was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year.

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

Several research analysts have weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Mercury General Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded 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 report on Wednesday, August 2nd.

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

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its position in Mercury General Corporation by 0.4% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 6,255 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $338,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during 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 valued at $316,000 after buying an additional 81 shares during 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 valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 92 shares during 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 valued at $903,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during 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 valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 112 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 46.47% of the company’s stock.

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $56.19 and its 200-day moving average is $57.40. The company has a market capitalization of $3.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 40.56 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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