Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

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 research analysts have also issued reports on MKL. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a hold rating and set a $1,050.00 price target on shares of Markel Corporation in a report on Tuesday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Markel Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Markel Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Boenning Scattergood set a $1,050.00 price target on shares of Markel Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $1,050.00.

Shares of Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) traded up 0.06% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $1074.15. 6,638 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.94 billion, a PE ratio of 37.14 and a beta of 1.03. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $1,049.21 and its 200 day moving average price is $1,001.53. Markel Corporation has a 12 month low of $811.05 and a 12 month high of $1,086.99.

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

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In other Markel Corporation news, CEO Richard R. Whitt III sold 100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,085.31, for a total value of $108,531.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 12,239 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,283,109.09. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Vice Chairman Steven A. Markel sold 3,875 shares of the company’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 completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 109,650 shares in the company, valued at approximately $117,816,732. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 6,027 shares of company stock worth $6,438,990. Company insiders own 2.53% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in Markel Corporation by 40.3% in the 2nd quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 94 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Korea Investment CORP increased its stake in Markel Corporation by 138.9% in the 2nd quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 129 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the period. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Markel Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $166,000. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its stake in Markel Corporation by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 171 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the period. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP increased its stake in Markel Corporation by 775.0% in the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 210 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $204,000 after buying an additional 186 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.47% of the company’s stock.

Markel Corporation Company Profile

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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