W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) Shares Up 0.7%

W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB)’s share price shot up 0.7% during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $48.31 and last traded at $48.45, 27,374 shares traded hands during mid-day trading. A decline of 98% from the average session volume of 1,515,545 shares. The stock had previously closed at $48.10.

Several brokerages have commented on WRB. ValuEngine upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 18th. Buckingham Research upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 22nd. Deutsche Bank boosted their price objective on W. R. Berkley from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 29th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on W. R. Berkley from $68.26 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on W. R. Berkley from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, February 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. W. R. Berkley presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.00.

The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $66.94 and a 200-day simple moving average of $69.29. The company has a current ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. The stock has a market cap of $8.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.39, a P/E/G ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.69.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 28th. The insurance provider reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $1.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.71 billion. W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 10.66% and a net margin of 8.63%. W. R. Berkley’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.03 EPS. As a group, analysts anticipate that W. R. Berkley Corp will post 2.99 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 25th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 11th were issued a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 10th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.87%. W. R. Berkley’s payout ratio is presently 14.52%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 24.4% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 8,239,577 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $569,355,000 after purchasing an additional 1,618,558 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of W. R. Berkley in the 4th quarter valued at about $97,047,000. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 52.5% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,731,471 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $188,522,000 after purchasing an additional 940,566 shares during the period. Madison Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of W. R. Berkley in the 4th quarter valued at about $45,260,000. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 96.3% in the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,099,344 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $75,965,000 after purchasing an additional 539,282 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.50% of the company’s stock.

About W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB)

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

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