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Here's Why Hold Strategy is Apt for Markel Group (MKL) Stock

Markel Group Inc. MKL has been in investors’ good books on the back of new business volume, strong retention levels, an improving rate environment, higher interest income on cash equivalents, strategic buyouts and favorable growth estimates.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Markel Group’s 2024 revenues is pegged at $14.95 billion, implying a year-over-year improvement of 4.6%.

The consensus estimate for 2025 earnings per share and revenues indicates an increase of 21% and 5.6%, respectively, from the corresponding 2024 estimates.

Earnings have grown 46.2% in the past five years, better than the industry average of 14.3%.

Earnings Surprise History

Markel Group has a decent earnings surprise history. It beat estimates in two of the last four quarters and missed twice, the average being 33.41%.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

MKL currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock has gained 21.6% against the industry’s decline of 0.7% in the past year.

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Zacks Investment Research


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Return on Equity (ROE)

Markel Group’s trailing 12-month ROE was 11.2%, up 310 basis points year over year. ROE reflects its efficiency in using its shareholders’ funds.

Business Tailwinds

MKL has been generating improved premiums. An improvement in new business volume, strong retention levels, continued increases in rates and expanded product offerings should help the insurer retain the momentum.

Investment income should continue to benefit from an improving rate environment, higher interest income on cash equivalents, fixed maturity securities and short-term investments due to higher yields.

Markel Group considers strategic buyouts a prudent approach to ramp up its growth profile. Acquisitions have helped the company enhance its surety capabilities, ramp up Markel Ventures’ revenues and expand its reinsurance product offerings. The insurer has been pursuing acquisitions to achieve profitable growth in insurance operations and create additional value on a diversified basis in Markel Ventures’ operations.

Higher revenues at construction services and transportation-related businesses due to a combination of increased demand, higher prices and growth, as well as a rise in production at one of the equipment manufacturing businesses are expected to boost operating revenues. The increase also reflected a full-year contribution from Metromont.

Banking on a strong capital position, the insurer has engaged in share buybacks. In the first quarter of 2024, MKL doubled its share buyback to $161 million, as its shares traded at a discount. The company has a share repurchase program authorized by the board to buy back up to $750 million of shares. As of Mar 31, 2024, $553.5 million remained available for repurchases under the program. In 2023, the company repurchased shares for $445 million.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the Diversified Operations industry are Carlisle Companies Incorporated CSL, ITT Inc. ITT and Griffon Corporation GFF. While Carlisle sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), ITT and Griffon carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) each at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Carlisle delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 16.97%. In the past year, CSL has surged 80.5%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CSL’s 2024 and 2025 earnings implies year-over-year growth of 28.3% and 8.6%, respectively.

ITT delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 6.49%. Shares of ITT have jumped 57.9% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ITT’s 2024 and 2025 earnings implies year-over-year growth of 12.2% and 13.7%, respectively.

Griffon delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 33.45%. In the past year, GFF has surged 99.7%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GFF’s 2024 and 2025 earnings implies year-over-year growth of 5.7% and 20.7%, respectively.

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