W. R. Berkley Co. (NYSE:WRB) Short Interest Down 27.9% in March

W. R. Berkley Co. (NYSE:WRBGet Rating) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,370,000 shares, a decline of 27.9% from the March 15th total of 1,900,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,350,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.0 days.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Consolidated Planning Corp purchased a new position in W. R. Berkley during the 3rd quarter valued at about $25,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 1,431.8% during the 3rd quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC now owns 337 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 315 shares during the last quarter. Covestor Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of W. R. Berkley during the 4th quarter valued at about $36,000. Quent Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W. R. Berkley during the 4th quarter valued at about $46,000. Finally, JFS Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of W. R. Berkley during the 3rd quarter valued at about $56,000. 74.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

WRB traded down $0.11 during trading on Friday, reaching $68.22. The company had a trading volume of 5,454,563 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,573,026. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $63.97 and its 200 day simple moving average is $57.47. The company has a market cap of $18.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.64, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.80. W. R. Berkley has a 12-month low of $47.13 and a 12-month high of $68.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a current ratio of 0.40.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRBGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 27th. The insurance provider reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.21. W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 14.45% and a net margin of 10.81%. The firm had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.61 EPS. W. R. Berkley’s revenue was up 21.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that W. R. Berkley will post 3.67 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 23rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 9th were paid a dividend of $0.0867 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 8th. This represents a $0.35 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.51%. W. R. Berkley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 9.56%.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on WRB. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of W. R. Berkley from $99.00 to $67.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of W. R. Berkley from $63.00 to $75.00 in a research note on Friday, April 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of W. R. Berkley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, April 6th. Finally, Wolfe Research upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.67 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 3rd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.28.

W. R. Berkley Company Profile (Get Rating)

W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as a commercial lines writer in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance & Monoline Excess. The Insurance segment underwrites commercial insurance business, including premises operations, commercial automobile, property, products liability, and general and professional liability lines.

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