Markel (NYSE:MKL) versus Amerisafe (NYSE:AMSF) Financial Contrast

Markel (NYSE:MKL) and Amerisafe (NASDAQ:AMSF) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Amerisafe pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Markel does not pay a dividend. Amerisafe pays out 25.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Amerisafe has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.



Institutional & Insider Ownership

75.9% of Markel shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.3% of Markel shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.7% of Amerisafe shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Markel and Amerisafe’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Markel 6.73% 8.76% 2.47%
Amerisafe 19.76% 17.34% 4.87%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Markel and Amerisafe’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Markel $6.84 billion 2.25 -$128.18 million $20.53 54.25
Amerisafe $377.75 million 3.30 $71.63 million $3.86 16.77

Amerisafe has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Markel. Amerisafe is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Markel, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Markel and Amerisafe, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Markel 0 2 1 0 2.33
Amerisafe 0 2 1 0 2.33

Markel currently has a consensus price target of $1,133.33, indicating a potential upside of 1.76%. Amerisafe has a consensus price target of $64.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.16%. Given Markel’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Markel is more favorable than Amerisafe.

Risk & Volatility

Markel has a beta of 0.8, suggesting that its share price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Amerisafe has a beta of 0.51, suggesting that its share price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Markel beats Amerisafe on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Markel

Markel Corporation, a diverse financial holding company, markets and underwrites specialty insurance products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and internationally. Its Insurance segment offers general and professional liability, property, personal lines, marine and energy, specialty programs, and workers' compensation insurance products. This segment also offers contract, commercial, and court bonds; coverage on automobiles or other vehicles held as collateral for loans; coverages for horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit, and specified perils; crime coverage; property and liability package coverage to small and medium sized businesses; accident and health coverage; coverage for legal expenses; and short-term trade credit coverage for commercial risks. The company's Reinsurance segment offers general liability, professional liability, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, environmental impairment liability, and auto liability; property treaty products for catastrophe, per risk, and retrocessional exposures; and specialty treaty reinsurance products comprising structured and whole turnover credit, political risk, mortgage and contract, and commercial surety reinsurance programs. Its Markel Ventures segment provides equipment used in baking systems and food processing; portable dredges; over-the-road car haulers and equipment; laminated oak and composite wood flooring; storage and transportation equipment for specialty gas; dormitory furniture, wall systems, medical casework, and marine panels; ornamental plants; fashion handbags; residential homes; and behavioral healthcare, concierge health programs, retail intelligence, and management and technology consulting services, as well as leases and manages manufactured housing communities. The company's Other segment operates as an insurance-linked securities investment fund manager. Markel Corporation was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia.

About Amerisafe

AMERISAFE, Inc., an insurance holding company, underwrites workers' compensation insurance in the United States. Its workers' compensation insurance policies provide benefits to injured employees for temporary or permanent disability, death, and medical and hospital expenses. The company provides workers' compensation insurance for small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking, logging and lumber, manufacturing, agriculture, maritime, and oil and gas. The company was incorporated in 1985 and is based in DeRidder, Louisiana.

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