Comparison of Markel (NYSE:MKL) and Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

marcel (NYSE: MKLGet a rating) and Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE: HIGHGet a rating) are both large-cap financial companies, but which is the superior investment? We’ll compare the two companies based on earnings strength, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

77.1% of Markel shares are held by institutional investors. By comparison, 93.0% of shares in The Hartford Financial Services Group are held by institutional investors. 1.7% of Markel shares are held by insiders. By comparison, 1.8% of shares in The Hartford Financial Services Group are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership indicates that large fund managers, hedge funds, and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and risk

Markel has a beta of 0.74, meaning its stock price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500. In comparison, Hartford Financial Services Group has a beta of 0.98, meaning its stock price its stock is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Markel and The Hartford Financial Services Group, as provided by

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
marcel 0 2 2 0 2.50
The Hartford Financial Services Group 0 4 seven 0 2.64

Markel currently has a consensus price target of $1,525.00, suggesting a potential upside of 22.64%. The Hartford Financial Services Group has a consensus price target of $80.58, suggesting a potential upside of 30.73%. Given Hartford Financial Services Group’s higher consensus rating and possible higher upside, analysts clearly believe Hartford Financial Services Group is more favorable than Markel.

Benefits and evaluation

This chart compares revenue, earnings per share, and valuation of Markel and The Hartford Financial Services Group.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
marcel $12.85 billion 1.31 $2.43 billion $127.97 9.72
The Hartford Financial Services Group $22.39 billion 0.91 $2.37 billion $7.27 8.48

Markel has higher earnings, but lower earnings than Hartford Financial Services Group. Hartford Financial Services Group trades at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Markel, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of Markel and The Hartford Financial Services Group.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
marcel 14.33% 6.30% 1.81%
The Hartford Financial Services Group 11.39% 14.84% 3.36%


Hartford Financial Services Group beats Markel on 9 out of 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Markel (Get a rating)

Markel Corporation, a diversified financial holding company, markets and underwrites specialty insurance products in the United States, Bermuda, United Kingdom, Rest of Europe, Canada, Asia Pacific and the Middle East . Its Insurance segment offers general and professional liability insurance products, personal, marine and energy insurance, specialty programs and workers’ compensation; and property coverages which include fire, allied lines and other specialized property coverage, including property risks exposed to catastrophes, such as earthquake and wind. This segment also offers credit and surety products and collateral protection insurance products. The Company’s Reinsurance segment offers liability for transactions, health care and environmental damage; and specialized treaty reinsurance products including structured credit and total turnover reinsurance, political risk, mortgage and contract, and commercial surety reinsurance programs. Its Markel Ventures segment provides equipment used in cooking systems and food processing; portable dredges; road transporters of cars and transport equipment; and oak and composite wood flooring, tube trailers and cisterns, as well as ornamental plants and residential homes, handbags and architectural products. This segment also provides consulting and other types of business and consumer services, including the distribution of outdoor construction products, crane rental, fire protection and life safety services, consulting in management and technology and retail intelligence services. The Company’s Others segment provides healthcare, rental and investment services, and operates as an insurance and investment fund manager offering a range of investment products, including related securities insurance, catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps and weather derivatives; and program services. it also manages funds with third parties. Markel Corporation was founded in 1930 and is based in Glen Allen, Virginia.

About Hartford Financial Services Group (Get a rating)

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. provides insurance and financial services to individuals and businesses in the United States, United Kingdom and internationally. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers’ compensation, property, automobile, liability, umbrella insurance, bond, marine, livestock and reinsurance; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, surety bond, surety and specialist damage coverage through regional offices, branches, sales and service centers policyholders, independent retail agents and brokers, wholesale agents and reinsurance brokers. The Company’s Personal Lines segment provides auto, homeowner and personal insurance coverage through a direct-to-consumer channel and independent agents. Its Damage & Accident Other Operations segment provides coverage for exposure to asbestos and the environment. The Company’s Benefits segment provides group life, disability and other insurance coverage to members of employer groups, associations and affinity groups through direct insurance policies; reinsurance to other insurance companies; employer-paid and voluntary product coverages; the underwriting, administration and processing of disability claims for self-funded employer plans; and a single-company leave management solution. This segment distributes its group insurance products and services through brokers, consultants, third-party administrators, professional associations and private exchanges. Its Hartford Funds segment offers investment products for retail and retirement accounts; exchange-traded products through brokerage organizations, independent financial advisers, defined contribution plans, financial consultants, banking trust groups and registered investment advisers; and investment management and administrative services, such as product design, implementation and monitoring. The company was founded in 1810 and is based in Hartford, Connecticut.

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