W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the eleven research firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, six have given a hold recommendation and one has issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $70.57.
Several analysts recently issued reports on WRB shares. ValuEngine upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 26th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 27th. Bank of America lowered shares of W. R. Berkley from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $74.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Thursday, June 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research report on Monday, June 18th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $74.00 price target for the company. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
NYSE WRB traded up $0.34 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $77.78. 1,165 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 372,579. The company has a current ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.84. W. R. Berkley has a 52 week low of $62.00 and a 52 week high of $79.74.
W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The insurance provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.15. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. W. R. Berkley had a net margin of 8.54% and a return on equity of 7.25%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.85 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that W. R. Berkley will post 3.75 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 19th will be given a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 18th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.77%. W. R. Berkley’s payout ratio is currently 24.39%.
In other W. R. Berkley news, EVP James G. Shiel sold 22,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.04, for a total value of $1,694,880.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 22.20% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in W. R. Berkley during the second quarter valued at $114,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its stake in W. R. Berkley by 75.0% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,701 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after purchasing an additional 729 shares in the last quarter. Optimum Investment Advisors purchased a new stake in W. R. Berkley during the first quarter valued at $127,000. Natixis purchased a new stake in W. R. Berkley during the first quarter valued at $205,000. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in W. R. Berkley during the second quarter valued at $207,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.76% of the company’s stock.
About W. R. Berkley
W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as a commercial lines writer in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. The Insurance segment underwrites commercial insurance business, including premises operations, commercial automobile, property, products liability, and professional liability lines.
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