William Blair upgraded shares of Markel (NYSE:MKL) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note published on Monday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. William Blair also issued estimates for Markel’s Q2 2019 earnings at $8.84 EPS and Q3 2019 earnings at $9.30 EPS.

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on MKL. Zacks Investment Research lowered Markel from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $1,200.00 target price on shares of Markel in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. ValuEngine lowered Markel from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks raised their target price on Markel to $1,200.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Markel presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $1,172.00.

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Markel stock opened at $1,170.20 on Monday. Markel has a 52 week low of $936.95 and a 52 week high of $1,194.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $16,018.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.39 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a current ratio of 0.60.

Markel (NYSE:MKL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The insurance provider reported $6.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $8.55 by ($1.91). Markel had a net margin of 6.52% and a return on equity of 0.39%. The business had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. equities research analysts anticipate that Markel will post 33.19 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Richard R. Whitt III sold 300 shares of Markel stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,060.02, for a total value of $318,006.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 9,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,231,313.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Alan I. Kirshner sold 100 shares of Markel stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,133.50, for a total value of $113,350.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 1,800 shares of company stock valued at $2,001,120. 2.53% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Markel by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 845,404 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $963,025,000 after acquiring an additional 2,155 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Markel by 3.4% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 29,434 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $31,435,000 after acquiring an additional 968 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in Markel by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 76,310 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $81,497,000 after acquiring an additional 1,022 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans purchased a new stake in Markel in the 4th quarter worth about $55,990,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its holdings in Markel by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 16,470 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $17,590,000 after acquiring an additional 676 shares during the last quarter. 78.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Markel 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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