W. R. Berkley Corp (WRB) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

W. R. Berkley Corp (WRB) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of W.R. Berkley outperformed the Zacks categorized Property and Casualty industry, year to date. 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. However, exposures to highly competitive insurance market along with low interest rate scenario and cat losses are dampeners. With respect to quarterly results, W.R. Berkley’s first-quarter 2017 earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also deteriorated year over year due to higher expenses and lower premiums at Reinsurance segment.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on WRB. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of W. R. Berkley Corp in a research note on Thursday, March 2nd. Langen Mcalenn reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of W. R. Berkley Corp in a research note on Tuesday, January 31st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of W. R. Berkley Corp in a research note on Wednesday, May 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $62.00.

Shares of W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) opened at 69.17 on Tuesday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $67.70 and a 200 day moving average of $67.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.39 billion, a PE ratio of 14.69 and a beta of 0.73. W. R. Berkley Corp has a 52-week low of $54.70 and a 52-week high of $73.17.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. This is a boost from W. R. Berkley Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.81%. W. R. Berkley Corp’s payout ratio is presently 11.06%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WRB. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley Corp by 7.3% in the fourth quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,002 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 137 shares during the last quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley Corp by 46.8% in the first quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 1,881 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley Corp by 218.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,064 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $146,000 after buying an additional 1,415 shares during the last quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley Corp by 4.2% in the first quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 2,548 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 102 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley Corp by 17.4% in the first quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 2,700 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $191,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. 71.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

W. R. Berkley Corp Company Profile

W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company. It operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance-Global. The Insurance segment consists of its commercial insurance business operations, comprising excess and surplus lines, and admitted lines, throughout the United States, as well as its insurance business operations in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, Scandinavia, Asia and Australia.new TradingView.widget({ “height”: 400, “width”: 625, “symbol”: “WRB”, “interval”: “D”, “timezone”: “Etc/UTC”, “theme”: “White”, “style”: “1”, “locale”: “en”, “toolbar_bg”: “#f1f3f6”, “enable_publishing”: false, “hideideas”: true, “referral_id”: “2588”});

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