Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) and Markel (NYSE:MKL) are both mid-cap financials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

Old Republic International pays an annual dividend of $0.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. Markel does not pay a dividend. Old Republic International pays out 56.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Old Republic International has raised its dividend for 36 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Old Republic International and Markel’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Old Republic International $5.90 billion 0.88 $467.00 million $1.35 14.66
Markel $5.61 billion 2.78 $455.68 million $4.50 249.64

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

Profitability

This table compares Old Republic International and Markel’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Old Republic International 6.45% 7.50% 1.81%
Markel 1.60% 0.83% 0.27%

Volatility and Risk

Old Republic International has a beta of 1.36, suggesting that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Markel has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

70.6% of Old Republic International shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.8% of Markel shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Old Republic International shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of Markel shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Old Republic International and Markel, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Old Republic International 0 0 0 1 4.00
Markel 0 2 1 0 2.33

Old Republic International presently has a consensus price target of $25.00, indicating a potential upside of 26.33%. Markel has a consensus price target of $1,066.67, indicating a potential downside of 5.05%. Given Old Republic International’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Old Republic International is more favorable than Markel.

Summary

Old Republic International beats Markel on 11 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

Old Republic International Company Profile

Old Republic International Corporation is a holding company. The Company is engaged in business of insurance underwriting and related services. The Company conducts its operations through various regulated insurance company subsidiaries, which are organized into three segments: General Insurance Group, Title Insurance Group and the Republic Financial Indemnity Group (RFIG) Run-off Business. The Company’s General Insurance segment consists of property and liability insurance, and offers coverages to businesses, government and other institutions. The Company’s Title Insurance Group business consists of the issuance of policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records, which contain information concerning interests in real property. The Company’s RFIG run-off business consists of its mortgage guaranty and consumer credit indemnity (CCI) operations.

Markel Company Profile

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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