On Mar 18,
) touched a 52-week high of $591.74 following the company's
strong financial performance as reported in the fourth quarter of
With respect to earnings performance, Markel has delivered
positive earnings surprises in two of the last four quarters with
an average beat of 11.3%. In the last reported quarter, Markel
posted impressive results including both bottom-line and top-line
Markel reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating net income of $5.92
per share, which improved 2.4% year over year. Bottom-line
year-over-year growth was driven by improving operating revenues.
Total operating revenues of property and casualty insurer during
the fourth quarter surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and
also surged 58.4% year over year on account of higher premiums
and increased investment income. The Excess and Surplus Lines,
Specialty Admitted segments and the newly formed Alterra segment
contributed significantly to top-line growth.
Markel also posted solid underwriting results on the back of its
strong insurance business. Markel's legacy underwriting segments
posted profitable growth and strong underwriting results which
contributed to overall growth during the fourth quarter.
Markel intends to remain focused on exploring new growth
opportunities, which includes the latest acquisition of Abbey
Protection plc. The acquisition is expected to complement
international insurance portfolio of the company. We expect this
endeavor to enhance its operational performance besides helping
it achieve long-term objectives and enhance shareholder value.
The long-term expected earnings growth rate for the company is
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 earnings is currently
pegged at $23.63 per share and at $27.41 per share for 2015.
These represent year-over-year growth estimates of 23.1% and 16%,
The year-to-date return from the stock came in at 1.46%, better
the S&P's return of 1.29%.
Markel presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks worth mentioning in the property and
casualty insurance industry include
AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.
Fidelity National Financial, Inc.
). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
AMTRUST FIN SVC (AFSI): Free Stock Analysis
FIDELITY NAT FI (FNF): Free Stock Analysis
MARKEL CORP (MKL): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALLEGHANY CORP (Y): Free Stock Analysis
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