Markel Corporation (MKL)’s Largest New Buys: Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCK), Coach Inc (COH) and Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK)


The equity portfolio of Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) increased to $3.96 billion in 1Q2015 from $3.79 billion in 4Q2014. The fund carried out deep reforms in its portfolio mix during 1Q, including fresh stakes and total elimination of some stocks.

After all the maneuvers, the fund maintained its largest interest in Finance at 30% of the portfolio, followed by Consumer Discretionary at 22%. The fund also has exposure to Consumer Staples, IT, Energy and Healthcare sectors.

During the three-month period to March, Markel Corp launched fresh positions in five stocks, sold out of four stocks, added holding in 48 stocks and reduced stakes in two stocks. As of the close of 1Q, the fund’s top-10 holdings accounted for more than 44% of its total portfolio.

Here is a closer look at Markel’s prominent fresh buys during 1Q and how the fund played the stocks.

Markel Corp initiated a position of 90,000 shares in Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCK) during 1Q. The stake was worth $2.7 million at the end of the quarter.

Markel made a bullish move in Coach Inc (NYSE:COH), launching a fresh position of 18,000 shares in the company during 1Q. The investment in Coach was valued at $746,000 at the close of the quarter.

Markel initiated a fresh position in Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSK), acquiring 9,000 shares in the company with the stake being worth $643,000 at the end of 1Q.

Discarded stakes

While Markel Corp made various bullish moves, the fund also lost love with stocks like Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:FRFHF), Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD) and Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO).

Fairfax (FRFHF): Markel Corp sold all the 197,104 shares it owned in Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (OTCMKTS:FRFHF) at the end of 4Q2014. The valued of the holding in Fairfax stood at more than 103 million as of the previous filing.

Expeditors (EXPD): The fund lost confidence in Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD), offloading all the shares 137,000 it owned in the company at the end of 4Q during the 1Q period. The fund’s interest in Expeditors was worth more than $6 million at the end of 4Q.

Brown & Brown (BRO): Markel Corp deleted Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO) from its portfolio, selling all the 165,628 shares worth $5.5 million it owned in the company in the previous filing.

Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta has been in the financial space for over six years now. Gupta earned her MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning in 2009 and her passion for finance led her to pursue Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. She has successfully completed Level II of her CFA. She is a veteran in article writing, which is depicted in her numerous pieces published on SeekingAlpha, Nextiphonenews, InsiderMonkey, MarketWatch, and Techinsider. Her crisp and eloquent writing finds its best place in Researchcows, where emphasis is given on developing rich content for various websites, products, business plans, trainings, and book writing.

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