W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) Short Interest Down 9.2% in January

W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) was the recipient of a significant decrease in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,680,000 shares, a decrease of 9.2% from the January 15th total of 2,950,000 shares. Approximately 1.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 1,310,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days.

WRB has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. ValuEngine raised W. R. Berkley from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 6th. Buckingham Research raised W. R. Berkley from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised W. R. Berkley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Saturday, October 19th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on W. R. Berkley from $80.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 29th. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on W. R. Berkley from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $68.00.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of W. R. Berkley in the fourth quarter worth approximately $521,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC grew its stake in W. R. Berkley by 190.3% in the fourth quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 47,403 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,276,000 after purchasing an additional 31,075 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in W. R. Berkley by 19.0% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 976,916 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $67,505,000 after purchasing an additional 155,655 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in W. R. Berkley by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 13,931 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $963,000 after purchasing an additional 457 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in W. R. Berkley in the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,309,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.30% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:WRB opened at $79.40 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The company has a market capitalization of $14.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.49, a P/E/G ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 0.61. W. R. Berkley has a 12 month low of $53.97 and a 12 month high of $79.44. The business’s 50-day moving average is $71.87 and its 200 day moving average is $70.70.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 28th. The insurance provider reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $1.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.71 billion. W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 10.73% and a net margin of 8.63%. W. R. Berkley’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.03 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that W. R. Berkley will post 3 earnings per share for the current year.

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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