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Markel Corp. increases book value to an all time high in FY 2009!

February 15th, 2010 Comments off

Last week Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL), one of the two companies this blog follows intensely, reported its earnings of FY and Q4 2009.

As we all know, 2009 was a challenging year:

With the American economy still in recession mode, the insurance market was crowded and very price competitive.

But Markel is a very disciplined insurance company: they try to serve well their clients but their primary goal always remains profitability!

In this challenging environment Markel was able to increase book value / share to an astonishing all time high of $282.55 !

The combined ratio fell from 99% in FY 2008 to 95%, another sign of strength of this well managed company.

The compounded average growth rate of their equity investment return of the last five years was 11%!

Not bad in these difficult times, isn’t it?

Last Friday the stock traded at $ 342.95 . This translates into a price/book ratio of 1.2

Seems rather cheap historically: in the past Markel normally traded at a price/book ratio of 2.

Do your own due diligence but perhaps it’s a good idea to snap up some shares: Markel is widely seen as the “next Berkshire Hathaway”!