W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) has received an average rating of “Hold” from the eleven brokerages that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $65.80.

Several analysts have recently commented on WRB shares. BidaskClub cut shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $67.00 target price on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (up previously from $68.00) on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood restated a “hold” rating on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,908,862 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $616,226,000 after acquiring an additional 184,805 shares during the last quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC raised its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 0.7% during the second quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 6,762,988 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $467,796,000 after acquiring an additional 44,512 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 2.5% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,898,743 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $275,369,000 after acquiring an additional 94,402 shares during the last quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C raised its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 33.2% during the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 3,564,878 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $246,583,000 after acquiring an additional 888,016 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 3.7% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,412,772 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $166,891,000 after acquiring an additional 86,904 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.18% of the company’s stock.

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W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) traded up 0.97% on Thursday, reaching $69.44. 287,232 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $66.25 and a 200 day moving average price of $67.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.74 and a beta of 0.88. W.R. Berkley Corporation has a 52 week low of $55.55 and a 52 week high of $73.17.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by ($0.10). W.R. Berkley Corporation had a return on equity of 7.58% and a net margin of 7.86%. The firm had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.82 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that W.R. Berkley Corporation will post $2.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 20th were given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.81%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 19th. W.R. Berkley Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 11.84%.

W.R. Berkley Corporation declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, August 8th that allows the company to buyback 10,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the insurance provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

About W.R. Berkley Corporation

W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company. It operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance-Global. The Insurance segment consists of its commercial insurance business operations, comprising excess and surplus lines, and admitted lines, throughout the United States, as well as its insurance business operations in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, Scandinavia, Asia and Australia.

Analyst Recommendations for W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB)

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