Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, specialty insurer Markel (NYSE:MKL) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Markel and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Markel facts

Headquarters (founded)

Glen Allen, Va. (1930)

Market Cap

$4.2 billion


Property and casualty insurance

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$2.9 billion


Chairman/CEO Alan Kirshner
President/CIO Thomas Gayner

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)


Cash / Debt

$1.6 billion / $1.5 billion


CNA Financial (NYSE:CNA)Meadowbrook Insurance Group (NYSE:MIG)Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV)

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 98% of the 2,817 members who have rated Markel believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last week, one of those Fools, All-Star TMFDeej, tapped the stock as a particularly timely bargain opportunity:

I am taking advantage of the recent sell off in Markel that came as a result of its planned acquisition of Alterra. Whether this drop was caused by disapproval of the deal or by [merger arbitrage] players hedging their positions by shorting [Markel] is difficult to say, but I personally like the deal and the company so I'm adding it here.

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the TrackPoisedTo CAPS account.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Markel. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Markel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.