The W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research, Report finds

The W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research, Report finds

According to Zacks, “W.R. Berkley’s fourth-quarter 2016 earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also deteriorated year over year due to escalating expenses. Nonetheless, the quarter marked 40th straight quartr of net positive development. The company has invested in a number of startups since 2006 which enables it to take advantage of an improved market scenario. Formation of operating units in North and Southeast Asia is in tandem with the strategy. Also, the divestment of wholly owned investment is expected to enhance long term shareholder’s value. Its international business has potential for long-term earnings growth. Reserving discipline and strong capital position are other positives. Notably, shares of W.R. Berkley outperformed the Zacks categorized Property and Casualty industry, in the last few days. However, exposures to highly competitive insurance market along with low interest rate scenario and cat losses are dampeners.”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on WRB. Langen Mcalenn reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a report on Tuesday, January 31st. Macquarie raised shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from an underperform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, January 17th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, November 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. W.R. Berkley Corporation has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $61.17.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) opened at 67.66 on Friday. W.R. Berkley Corporation has a 12-month low of $50.15 and a 12-month high of $68.47. The company has a market cap of $8.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.46 and a beta of 0.73. The company’s 50 day moving average is $67.14 and its 200 day moving average is $61.00.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 31st. The company reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.04. W.R. Berkley Corporation had a net margin of 7.86% and a return on equity of 8.93%. The business had revenue of $1.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.89 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.85 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that W.R. Berkley Corporation will post $3.40 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WRB. Boston Partners boosted its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 0.6% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,910,620 shares of the company’s stock valued at $283,638,000 after buying an additional 31,344 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 4.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,700,677 shares of the company’s stock valued at $271,511,000 after buying an additional 194,307 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 0.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,442,386 shares of the company’s stock valued at $198,832,000 after buying an additional 21,118 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 27.6% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,881,806 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,693,000 after buying an additional 407,404 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Citigroup Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 1.1% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,652,550 shares of the company’s stock valued at $99,021,000 after buying an additional 17,533 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.67% of the company’s stock.

About W.R. Berkley Corporation

W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company. The Company operates in the three segments of the property casualty insurance business: Insurance-Domestic, Insurance-International and Reinsurance-Global. Its Insurance-Domestic segment includes commercial insurance business, including excess and surplus lines and admitted lines, primarily throughout the United States.

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