Brokerages Set W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) Price Target at $65.80

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the eleven brokerages that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have assigned a hold recommendation and one has assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $65.80.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on WRB shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $70.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Buckingham Research started coverage on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Monday, September 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $67.00 price target for the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Sunday, September 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st.

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A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C lifted its position in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 33.2% during the 2nd quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 3,564,878 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $246,583,000 after buying an additional 888,016 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 5,691.5% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 683,863 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $47,303,000 after buying an additional 672,055 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 5.9% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,724,057 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $616,181,000 after buying an additional 482,820 shares during the last quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 703.9% during the 1st quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 431,245 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $30,459,000 after buying an additional 377,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 778.9% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 370,900 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $25,655,000 after buying an additional 328,700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.18% of the company’s stock.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) traded up 0.99% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $70.13. 429,736 shares of the company were exchanged. W.R. Berkley Corporation has a 52 week low of $55.55 and a 52 week high of $73.17. The company has a market capitalization of $8.51 billion, a PE ratio of 14.89 and a beta of 0.88. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $66.46 and a 200-day moving average price of $67.93.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.75 by ($0.10). The business had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. W.R. Berkley Corporation had a net margin of 7.86% and a return on equity of 7.58%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.82 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that W.R. Berkley Corporation will post $2.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

W.R. Berkley Corporation declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to repurchase 10,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the insurance provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 20th were paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 19th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.80%. W.R. Berkley Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 11.84%.

About W.R. Berkley Corporation

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.

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