W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Analysts

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the eleven ratings firms that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, seven have given a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $63.50.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on WRB. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed 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 report on Friday, July 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, 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 report on Thursday, July 6th.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) traded down 1.24% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $65.86. The stock had a trading volume of 209,475 shares. W.R. Berkley Corporation has a 52 week low of $55.55 and a 52 week high of $73.17. The company has a 50-day moving average of $68.77 and a 200-day moving average of $69.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.98 and a beta of 0.87.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.61 billion. W.R. Berkley Corporation had a return on equity of 7.58% and a net margin of 7.86%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.82 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that W.R. Berkley Corporation will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

W.R. Berkley Corporation declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to buyback 10,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the insurance provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 20th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 19th. W.R. Berkley Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 11.84%.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 683.0% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,566 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 1,366 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 243.9% in the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,809 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 1,283 shares during the period. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt increased its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 46.8% in the first quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 1,881 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc increased its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 218.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,064 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $146,000 after buying an additional 1,415 shares during the period. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. increased its position in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 4.2% in the first quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 2,548 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 102 shares during the period. 71.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

W.R. Berkley Corporation Company Profile

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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