W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) Downgraded to “Strong Sell” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine downgraded shares of W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on W. R. Berkley from $63.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised W. R. Berkley from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $74.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Saturday. Buckingham Research increased their target price on W. R. Berkley from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. Deutsche Bank lowered W. R. Berkley from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $65.71 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, June 26th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their target price on W. R. Berkley to $68.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. W. R. Berkley has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $65.63.

W. R. Berkley stock opened at $67.85 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.77 and a beta of 0.68. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $71.47 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $66.70. W. R. Berkley has a 52-week low of $45.91 and a 52-week high of $73.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.48 and a quick ratio of 0.48.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The insurance provider reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.19. W. R. Berkley had a net margin of 8.81% and a return on equity of 10.55%. The company had revenue of $1.68 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.67 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.84 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that W. R. Berkley will post 2.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Thursday, September 19th were issued a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 18th. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.65%. W. R. Berkley’s payout ratio is presently 16.48%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WRB. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 61.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,067,342 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,257,109,000 after acquiring an additional 7,221,477 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 53.2% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,922,965 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $983,872,000 after purchasing an additional 5,180,855 shares during the period. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C lifted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 36.3% in the 2nd quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 10,897,169 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $718,450,000 after purchasing an additional 2,899,769 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 51.4% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 7,106,715 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $468,545,000 after purchasing an additional 2,412,693 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Partners lifted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 55.3% in the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 3,861,737 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $254,643,000 after purchasing an additional 1,374,347 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.69% of the company’s stock.

W. R. Berkley Company Profile

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

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