W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) Lifted to Buy at StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRBGet Rating) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

Several other research firms also recently commented on WRB. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on shares of W. R. Berkley from $65.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of W. R. Berkley from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, April 6th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $63.00 to $75.00 in a report on Friday, April 8th. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $70.67 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, February 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on W. R. Berkley from $44.67 to $67.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, W. R. Berkley presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $67.55.

Shares of NYSE WRB opened at $68.75 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $65.45 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.58. W. R. Berkley has a 52 week low of $47.13 and a 52 week high of $71.53. The firm has a market cap of $18.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.78, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.80.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRBGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Monday, April 25th. The insurance provider reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.26 billion. W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 14.45% and a net margin of 10.81%. The business’s revenue was up 21.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.72 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that W. R. Berkley will post 3.67 earnings per share 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 given a $0.0867 dividend. This represents a $0.35 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.50%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 8th. W. R. Berkley’s payout ratio is 9.56%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Fifth Third Bancorp grew its stake in W. R. Berkley by 8.5% during the 4th quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 1,896 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $156,000 after buying an additional 149 shares during the last quarter. Butensky & Cohen Financial Security Inc. grew its position in W. R. Berkley by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Butensky & Cohen Financial Security Inc. now owns 33,570 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,766,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 49.9% during the first quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 532 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $35,000 after buying an additional 177 shares during the last quarter. Vantage Consulting Group Inc boosted its position in shares of W. R. Berkley by 7.2% during the third quarter. Vantage Consulting Group Inc now owns 2,890 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 193 shares during the period. Finally, Commerce Bank grew its holdings in W. R. Berkley by 5.7% in the 3rd quarter. Commerce Bank now owns 4,192 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $307,000 after buying an additional 226 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.74% of the company’s stock.

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

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