W. R. Berkley (WRB) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “W.R. Berkley has been investing in a number of startups since 2006 as well as establishing new units, enabling it to take advantage of an improved market scenario. Formation of operating units in North and Southeast Asia is in tandem with the strategy while divestment of wholly owned investment is expected to enhance long-term shareholder’s value. Its international business has potential for long-term earnings growth. Reserving discipline and a strong capital position are other positives. However, exposures to highly competitive insurance market and cat loss are dampeners. With respect to fourth quarter results, W.R. Berkley’s earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate but deteriorated year over year on lower revenues as well as net investment income. Shares of W.R. Berkley underperformed the industry in a year.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $69.00 target price on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on W. R. Berkley from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Bank of America boosted their target price on W. R. Berkley from $73.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.38.

W. R. Berkley (WRB) traded down $1.15 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $68.68. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 170,669 shares, compared to its average volume of 422,260. W. R. Berkley has a 1 year low of $62.00 and a 1 year high of $74.43. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $8,500.00, a PE ratio of 16.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 0.84.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of W. R. Berkley by 2.5% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 32,102 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,117,000 after buying an additional 777 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama boosted its position in shares of W. R. Berkley by 0.4% during the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 219,416 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $15,721,000 after buying an additional 796 shares during the period. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of W. R. Berkley by 15.7% during the fourth quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 6,128 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $439,000 after buying an additional 832 shares during the period. Profund Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of W. R. Berkley by 8.5% during the fourth quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 11,418 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $818,000 after buying an additional 890 shares during the period. Finally, GHP Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of W. R. Berkley by 3.1% during the fourth quarter. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 30,714 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,201,000 after buying an additional 929 shares during the period. 71.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About W. R. Berkley

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 (NYSE:WRB)

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