Is Markel Corporation (MKL) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

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Is Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) a buy here? Money managers are selling. The number of long hedge fund bets shrunk by 3 recently.

In today’s marketplace, there are many indicators shareholders can use to watch stocks. A duo of the most underrated are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL)Equally as integral, positive insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are many stimuli for an upper level exec to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a glance at the key action encompassing Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL).

How are hedge funds trading Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 15 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -17% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Of the funds we track, Select Equity Group, managed by Robert Joseph Caruso, holds the biggest position in Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). Select Equity Group has a $175.6 million position in the stock, comprising 2.3% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Akre Capital Management, managed by Charles Akre, which held a $124.2 million position; 7% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other peers that are bullish include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital.

Because Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) has witnessed a declination in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there lies a certain “tier” of hedge funds who sold off their positions entirely in Q1. It’s worth mentioning that John Bader’s Halcyon Asset Management sold off the largest stake of the 450+ funds we watch, comprising close to $8.7 million in stock., and Murray Stahl of Horizon Asset Management was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $4.6 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest fell by 3 funds in Q1.

Insider trading activity in Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL)

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is best served when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time period, Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) has experienced 3 unique insiders purchasing, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). These stocks are Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR), American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG), HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC), Partnerre Ltd (NYSE:PRE), and Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS). This group of stocks are the members of the property & casualty insurance industry and their market caps are similar to MKL’s market cap.

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