Shares of Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) have been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 3.50 (Sell) from the two analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and one has assigned a hold rating to the company.

Analysts have set a 1 year consensus target price of $42.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.60 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Mercury General an industry rank of 83 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research firms have recently commented on MCY. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Mercury General from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. ValuEngine raised shares of Mercury General from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods began coverage on shares of Mercury General in a research note on Tuesday, August 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price target on the stock. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Mercury General from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, August 10th.

Shares of NYSE MCY traded down $0.42 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $49.94. 13,383 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 171,308. The firm has a market cap of $2.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.64, a PEG ratio of 0.68 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a current ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22. Mercury General has a twelve month low of $41.40 and a twelve month high of $60.19.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 30th. The insurance provider reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.33. Mercury General had a net margin of 2.48% and a return on equity of 5.44%. The business had revenue of $871.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $849.56 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.68 earnings per share. Mercury General’s revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Mercury General will post 2.2 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 13th will be paid a $0.625 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 12th. This represents a $2.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.01%. Mercury General’s payout ratio is presently 152.44%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Mercury General by 2.1% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,945,009 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $134,175,000 after purchasing an additional 61,532 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Mercury General by 16.6% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,052,259 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $93,500,000 after purchasing an additional 291,742 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in shares of Mercury General by 4.2% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 980,900 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $44,690,000 after purchasing an additional 39,300 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Mercury General by 22.6% during the first quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 684,565 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $31,401,000 after purchasing an additional 126,308 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Mercury General by 19.9% during the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 667,843 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $30,427,000 after purchasing an additional 111,052 shares in the last quarter. 47.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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