By: Manisha Sethi Aug. 03, 2018

Markel Corporation’s SEC 13F filings dated April 27, 2018, shows a portfolio value of $5.26 billion. The top 10 holdings account for about 41.6% of the company’s portfolio and include Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A), CarMax, Inc. (KMX), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B), Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM), and Marriott International, Inc. (MAR). Markel Corporation was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia. As a diverse financial holding company, the company internationally markets and underwrites specialty insurance products in, for example, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada as well as invests across various sectors. Further, it operates through three segments: U.S. insurance, international insurance, and reinsurance. It also functions as an insurance-linked securities investment fund manager and reinsurance manager; manufacturer of transportation and other industrial equipment; and a management and IT consulting firm that provides services and solutions to various customers as well as capital solutions to asset and wealth management firms. Markel Corporation also operates under the name Markel Holdings Inc.

A Raltin study examined the investor’s new purchases since Q1 2014 and calculated their annual internal rate of return (IRR). The difference between the stocks IRR and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) IRR indicates that 52 or 57.78% of new stock purchases outperform S&P 500 (Details of the Raltin methodology can be found here). Of these, 32 new buys outperform the index by more than 10%, whereas 15 out of 90 new purchases (between Q1 2014 and Q1 2018) underperform S&P 500 by more than 20%. The following table lists the number of new stock purchases along with the S&P performance categories.

S&P outperformance categoryNumber of new stock purchasesTotal new purchases (%)
10 to 20%1415.56
0 to 10%2022.22
-10 to 0%1516.67
-20 to -10%88.89
Total stocks90


According to the recent filings, the firm purchased 7 new stocks across various sectors including finance, consumer discretionary, and materials. The next table lists new purchases by the firm as well as their holding value and the number of shares purchased.

StocksNumber of sharesHolding value ($1,000)
Progressive Corp. (The) (PGR)210,00012,795
Capital One Financial Corp. (COF)75,0007,186
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG)17,5005,654
Mattel, Inc. (MAT)99,0001,302
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (The) (SMG)13,0001,115
Shake Shack, Inc. (SHAK)11,000458
Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG)210437

The following table shows the portfolio value for last 5 quarters from Q1 2017 and the top holdings that outperform the S&P 500 IRR in each quarter. In addition, several new buys such as Liberty Media Corp. (BATRA), Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (BBU), HEICO Corp. (HEI), and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) (GS) drastically outperform S&P 500.

PeriodTotal portfolio value ($Mn)Top holdings (ticker, % of IRR difference from S&P 500)
Q1 20174,438.799Rockwell Collins, Inc. (COL, 27.26)
Q4 20164,148.987Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR, 19.72), Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN, 12.09), Sensata Technologies Holdings N.V. (ST, 11.87)
Q3 20163,879.477HEICO Corp. (HEI, 46.25), American Tower Corp. (REIT) (AMT, 4.47)
Q2 20163,794.254Liberty Media Corp. (BATRA, 43.41), Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (BBU, 26.27), Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (PAG, 24.15)
Q1 20163,725.256Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) (GS, 31.63), Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN, 25.6), Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI, 23.75)