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Why Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) Could Be Worth Watching

Simply Wall St

Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) had a relatively subdued couple of weeks in terms of changes in share price, which continued to float around the range of $1027.19 to $1122.27. However, is this the true valuation level of the large-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at Markel’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if there are any catalysts for a price change.

Check out our latest analysis for Markel

Is Markel still cheap?

According to my relative valuation model, the stock seems to be currently fairly priced. I’ve used the price-to-earnings ratio in this instance because there’s not enough visibility to forecast its cash flows. The stock’s ratio of 21.36x is currently trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 16.71x, which means if you buy Markel today, you’d be paying a relatively fair price for it. And if you believe Markel should be trading in this range, then there isn’t really any room for the share price grow beyond what it’s currently trading. Furthermore, it seems like Markel’s share price is quite stable, which means there may be less chances to buy low in the future now that it’s fairly valued. This is because the stock is less volatile than the wider market given its low beta.

What kind of growth will Markel generate?

NYSE:MKL Past and Future Earnings, August 1st 2019

Future outlook is an important aspect when you’re looking at buying a stock, especially if you are an investor looking for growth in your portfolio. Although value investors would argue that it’s the intrinsic value relative to the price that matter the most, a more compelling investment thesis would be high growth potential at a cheap price. In the upcoming year, Markel’s earnings are expected to increase by 28%, indicating a highly optimistic future ahead. This should lead to more robust cash flows, feeding into a higher share value.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has already priced in MKL’s positive outlook, with shares trading around its fair value. However, there are also other important factors which we haven’t considered today, such as the financial strength of the company. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at MKL? Will you have enough confidence to invest in the company should the price drop below its fair value?

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on MKL, now may not be the most optimal time to buy, given it is trading around its fair value. However, the optimistic forecast is encouraging for MKL, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors such as the strength of its balance sheet, in order to take advantage of the next price drop.

Price is just the tip of the iceberg. Dig deeper into what truly matters – the fundamentals – before you make a decision on Markel. You can find everything you need to know about Markel in the latest infographic research report. If you are no longer interested in Markel, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.