ICC (NASDAQ:ICCH) and Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, profitability and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

9.9% of ICC shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 48.5% of Mercury General shares are owned by institutional investors. 22.5% of ICC shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 34.2% of Mercury General shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for ICC and Mercury General, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ICC 0 0 0 0 N/A
Mercury General 0 0 1 0 3.00

Mercury General has a consensus price target of $69.00, indicating a potential upside of 24.89%. Given Mercury General’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Mercury General is more favorable than ICC.

Risk & Volatility

ICC has a beta of 0.24, suggesting that its stock price is 76% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mercury General has a beta of 0.26, suggesting that its stock price is 74% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares ICC and Mercury General’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ICC 1.42% 1.25% 0.50%
Mercury General 4.78% 8.50% 2.67%

Dividends

Mercury General pays an annual dividend of $2.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. ICC does not pay a dividend. Mercury General pays out 139.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Mercury General has raised its dividend for 33 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares ICC and Mercury General’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ICC $51.16 million 0.92 $890,000.00 N/A N/A
Mercury General $3.38 billion 0.90 -$5.72 million $1.80 30.69

ICC has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Mercury General.

Summary

Mercury General beats ICC on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ICC

ICC Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Illinois Casualty Company, provides property and casualty insurance products to the food and beverage industry in the United States. The company offers commercial multi-peril, liquor liability, workers' compensation, and umbrella liability insurance products. It also rents real estate properties. The company markets its products through a network of 160 independent agents in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. ICC Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Rock Island, Illinois.

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. The company sells its policies through a network of independent agents, 100% owned insurance agents, and direct channels in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Mercury General Corporation was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

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