Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $70.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Mercury General Corp. is engaged primarily in writing all risk classifications of automobile insurance in a number of states, principally California. The company offers automobile policyholders the following types of coverage: bodily injury liability, underinsured and uninsured motorist, property damage liability, comprehensive, collision and other hazards specified in the policy. “

MCY has been the subject of several other reports. TheStreet lowered shares of UDR from a b rating to a c rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 30th. ValuEngine raised shares of USINAS SIDERURG/S from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 29th.

NYSE MCY opened at $62.15 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.43. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $62.20. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.44 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.46 and a beta of 0.24. Mercury General has a 52 week low of $45.22 and a 52 week high of $65.22.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $919.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $917.25 million. Mercury General had a net margin of 4.78% and a return on equity of 8.50%. Mercury General’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.07 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Mercury General will post 3.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Charles Toney sold 600 shares of Mercury General stock in a transaction on Friday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.45, for a total transaction of $36,270.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 11,803 shares in the company, valued at $713,491.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 34.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Systematic Financial Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Mercury General during the second quarter worth $948,000. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL bought a new stake in shares of Mercury General during the second quarter worth $1,738,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its position in shares of Mercury General by 45.8% during the second quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 11,696 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $731,000 after purchasing an additional 3,676 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Mercury General by 1.1% during the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 19,686 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,230,000 after purchasing an additional 215 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA bought a new stake in shares of Mercury General during the second quarter worth $2,056,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.64% of the company’s stock.

Mercury General Company Profile

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.

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