Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) Sees Large Decline in Short Interest

Mercury General Co. (NYSE:MCY) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 708,200 shares, a decrease of 19.2% from the June 30th total of 876,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 250,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.8 days. Currently, 2.6% of the company’s stock are short sold.

MCY stock traded up $0.37 during trading on Thursday, reaching $52.91. 187,100 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 341,240. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $60.63. Mercury General has a twelve month low of $47.96 and a twelve month high of $65.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.32, a P/E/G ratio of 0.45 and a beta of 0.25.

Mercury General (NYSE:MCY) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by ($0.17). The firm had revenue of $936.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $922.34 million. Mercury General had a return on equity of 7.97% and a net margin of 5.28%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.88 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Mercury General will post 3.19 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 26th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 12th will be issued a dividend of $0.6275 per share. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 11th. Mercury General’s dividend payout ratio is currently 139.44%.

In related news, VP Charles Toney sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the vice president now directly owns 11,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $713,491.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 34.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Krane Funds Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Mercury General during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $26,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc bought a new stake in Mercury General during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $73,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Mercury General during the 1st quarter worth approximately $59,000. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Mercury General by 1,629.3% during the 2nd quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,297 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $81,000 after purchasing an additional 1,222 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in Mercury General during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $150,000. 43.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Mercury General from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. ValuEngine downgraded Mercury General from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, TheStreet raised Mercury General from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 30th.

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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