Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Reasons Why Markel (MKL) Stock is an Attractive Bet Now

Read MoreHide Full Article

Markel Corporation (MKL - Free Report) has been favored by investors on the back of its new business opportunities, improved pricing, acquisitions and solid liquidity.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 earnings per share is pegged at $58.06 and $65.58, indicating year-over-year increase of nearly 121.2% and 12.9%, respectively.

Earnings Surprise History

Markel surpassed estimates in each of the last four reported quarters, with the average beat being 164%.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Markel currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). In the past year, the stock has rallied 18.6% compared with the industry’s increase of 28.3%.

Style Score

It has an impressive Growth Score of A. This style score helps analyze the growth prospects of a company.

Business Tailwinds

By virtue of new business and improved pricing within its professional liability and general liability product lines, as well as its personal lines and marine and energy product lines across its Insurance segment, premium growth of the insurer is likely to improve in the near term. This in turn will contribute to the top-line growth of the company. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2021 and 2022 revenues is pegged at $10.1 billion and $10.9 billion, indicating year-over-year increase of nearly 10.8% and 8.3%, respectively.

Markel Ventures operations witnessed strong top and bottom-line performance amid challenging economic conditions and achieved solid investment returns despite volatile market conditions and historically low interest rates.

Banking on the acquisition of Lansing Building Products and VSC Fire & Securityas well as growth and improved operating results at certain of its businesses, revenues and EBITDA for Markel Ventures segment are likely to improve.

Moreover, the solvency position of this property and casualty insurer looks strong. Its cash flow from operations increased 30.8% year over year in 2020 while cash balance improved 11.6% from 2019-end level.

The insurer seeks to maintain modest financial leverage. Its debt-to-capital ratio improved 300 basis points (bps) at 2020 end and has access to $300 million revolving credit facility.

Based on solid cash generation abilities, it has committed to enhancing shareholder value through share buybacks. At present, it has $240.8 million remaining under the share repurchase authorization.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks in the insurance space include Alleghany (Y - Free Report) , Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF - Free Report) and First American Financial Corporation (FAF - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alleghany’s bottom line surpassed estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed in the other two, the average beat being 34.08%.

Cincinnati Financial surpassed earnings estimates in two of the last four quarters, with the average surprise being 4.10%.

First American Financial’s bottom line surpassed estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed in one, the average beat being 15.86%.

Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>