Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

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. “

Separately, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Mercury General Corporation from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th.

Shares of Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) traded down 0.25% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $56.51. 70,166 shares of the stock were exchanged. Mercury General Corporation has a 12-month low of $50.32 and a 12-month high of $64.52. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $57.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $56.89. The firm has a market cap of $3.13 billion, a PE ratio of 39.52 and a beta of 0.50.

Mercury General Corporation (NYSE:MCY) last announced its earnings results on Monday, July 31st. The insurance provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $852.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $815.85 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Mercury General Corporation will post $1.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 28th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 14th were paid a $0.6225 dividend. This represents a $2.49 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.41%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 13th. Mercury General Corporation’s payout ratio is 172.92%.

In other news, CEO Gabriel Tirador sold 2,355 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.00, for a total transaction of $138,945.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 36,239 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,138,101. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 34.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MCY. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Mercury General Corporation by 17.5% during the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,922 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $158,000 after acquiring an additional 435 shares during the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Mercury General Corporation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $166,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Mercury General Corporation by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,308 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $179,000 after acquiring an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Mercury General Corporation by 55.9% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 3,604 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $195,000 after acquiring an additional 1,292 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Mercury General Corporation by 57.8% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,630 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $196,000 after acquiring an additional 1,330 shares during the last quarter. 46.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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