Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE: ENH) and Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) are both financials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, risk, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Endurance Specialty Holdings and Markel Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Endurance Specialty Holdings N/A N/A N/A $6.00 15.50
Markel Corporation $5.75 billion 2.65 $948.88 million $4.50 243.13

Markel Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Endurance Specialty Holdings. Endurance Specialty Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Markel Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Endurance Specialty Holdings has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Markel Corporation has a beta of 1.03, indicating that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

82.7% of Endurance Specialty Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.5% of Markel Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 5.8% of Endurance Specialty Holdings shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of Markel Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Endurance Specialty Holdings and Markel Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Endurance Specialty Holdings 4.41% 1.29% 0.72%
Markel Corporation 1.60% 0.83% 0.27%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Endurance Specialty Holdings and Markel Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Endurance Specialty Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A
Markel Corporation 0 3 1 0 2.25

Markel Corporation has a consensus target price of $1,066.67, indicating a potential downside of 2.51%. Given Markel Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Markel Corporation is more favorable than Endurance Specialty Holdings.

Dividends

Endurance Specialty Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Markel Corporation does not pay a dividend. Endurance Specialty Holdings pays out 25.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Endurance Specialty Holdings has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Summary

Endurance Specialty Holdings beats Markel Corporation on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Endurance Specialty Holdings

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. is a holding company. The Company, through its operating subsidiaries in Bermuda, the United States and the United Kingdom, focuses on underwriting specialty lines of personal and commercial property, and casualty insurance and reinsurance. It operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance. In the Insurance segment, it writes agriculture, casualty and other specialty, professional lines, and property, marine/energy and aviation insurance. In the Reinsurance segment, it writes catastrophe, property, casualty, professional lines and specialty reinsurance. Its Insurance and Reinsurance segments both include property-related coverages, which provide insurance or reinsurance of an insurable interest in tangible property for property loss, damage or loss of use. In addition, its Insurance and Reinsurance segments include various casualty insurance and reinsurance coverages, which are concerned with the losses caused by injuries to third parties.

About Markel Corporation

Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. It monitors and reports its ongoing underwriting operations in three segments: U.S. Insurance, International Insurance and Reinsurance. The Company, through its subsidiary Markel Ventures, Inc. (Markel Ventures), owns interests in various industrial and service businesses that operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace. The U.S. Insurance segment includes all direct business and facultative placements written by its insurance subsidiaries domiciled in the United States. The International Insurance segment includes all direct business and facultative placements written by its insurance subsidiaries domiciled outside of the United States, including its syndicate at Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s). The Reinsurance segment includes all treaty reinsurance written across the Company.

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