Mercury General Corporation Stock Downgraded (MCY)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mercury General Corporation (NYSE: MCY) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MCY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.08 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 21.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 121.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $79.47 million to -$17.38 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, MERCURY GENERAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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Mercury General Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal automobile insurance products. The company also writes homeowners, commercial automobile and property, mechanical breakdown, fire, and umbrella insurance products. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Mercury General has a market cap of $2.08 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Mercury General Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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