Zacks Investment Research Lowers WR Berkley (NYSE: WRB) to Hold
WR Berkley (NYSE: WRB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong buy” rating to a “conservation” rating in a report released Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a price target of $ 79.00 on shares of the insurance provider. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential rise of 6.14% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “WR Berkley has consistently benefited from its insurance business, showing good results with increased written premiums over the past few years. WR Berkley has invested in numerous startups since 2006 and established new units in growing international markets. the activity is about to experience sustained growth in emerging markets. A strong capital position enables the deployment of capital. Investing in alternative assets should help improve investment income. Stocks have underperformed the sector during the period since the start of the year. However, exposure to a market is a concern. The increase in debt leads to higher interest costs and represents an overrun of the interest earned. IT and data initiatives will continue and lead to increased spending. Exposure to cat loss led to income volatility. “
Several other research firms also commented on WRB. UBS Group has downgraded WR Berkley’s shares from a “neutral” to a “buy” rating and raised its target price for the company from $ 73.00 to $ 80.00 in a report released on Wednesday the 24th. February. Wells Fargo & Company provided coverage of WR Berkley shares in a research report on Wednesday, April 7. They set an “overweight” rating and a price target of $ 92.00 for the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised its price target for WR Berkley shares from $ 70.00 to $ 80.00 and assigned the company a “conservation” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 21. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its price target for WR Berkley shares from $ 84.00 to $ 89.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report released Thursday, April 22. Four equity research analysts rated the stock with a conservation rating and four issued a buy rating for the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $ 79.50.
WRB stock traded up $ 0.08 at midday on Tuesday, reaching $ 74.43. The company had a trading volume of 6,917 shares, compared to an average volume of 751,246. WR Berkley has a 12-month low of $ 54.98 and a 12-month high of $ 82.43. The company’s fifty-day moving average is $ 78.37. The stock has a market cap of $ 13.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.20, a PEG ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a leverage ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.49, and a current ratio of 0.49.
WR Berkley (NYSE: WRB) last released its quarterly results on Monday, April 19. The insurance provider reported earnings per share of $ 1.08 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $ 0.84 by $ 0.24. The company posted revenue of $ 2.48 billion in the quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $ 1.83 billion. WR Berkley had a return on equity of 8.24% and a net margin of 9.05%. The company’s quarterly revenue increased 46.9% from the same quarter last year. In the same quarter of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $ 0.69. As a group, sell-side analysts predict WR Berkley will post 3.98 EPS for the current year.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently changed their holdings to WRB. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings of WR Berkley shares by 1.0% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,639,745 shares of the insurance provider valued at $ 726,355,000 after purchasing an additional 97,222 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in WR Berkley shares by 0.3% in the first quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,621,354 shares of the insurance provider valued at $ 498,920,000 after purchasing an additional 17,571 shares last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in WR Berkley by 11.1% in the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,834,478 shares of the insurance provider valued at $ 364,278,000 after acquiring an additional 483,672 shares during the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its stake in WR Berkley by 16.1% during the 1st quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,923,920 shares of the insurance provider valued at $ 295,668,000 after purchasing an additional 544,650 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in WR Berkley shares by 0.9% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,734,971 shares of the insurance provider valued at $ 205,770,000 after purchasing an additional 24,321 shares in the last quarter. 69.37% of the shares are held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About WR Berkley
WR Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as a business line writer in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, insurance and reinsurance and single line surplus. The Insurance segment underwrites commercial insurance activities, including the operation of premises, commercial automobile, property, product liability, and general and professional liability.
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