W. R. Berkley (WRB) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $79.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 10.07% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “W.R. Berkley has been investing in a number of startups since 2006 as well as establishing new units, 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 while 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, exposure to highly competitive insurance market along with low interest rate scenario and cat losses are dampeners. Also, shares of W.R. Berkley underperformed the industry, year to date. The company is set to release fourth quarter results on Jan 30. A Zacks Rank #2 increases the predictive power of a beat, but combined with a negative Earnings ESP of 7.41% makes prediction difficult.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $69.00 price target on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on W. R. Berkley from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on W. R. Berkley from $73.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.38.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) opened at $71.77 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 0.34 and a quick ratio of 0.34. The company has a market capitalization of $8,654.74, a P/E ratio of 16.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.25 and a beta of 0.92. W. R. Berkley has a 12 month low of $62.00 and a 12 month high of $73.17.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WRB. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C increased its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 33.2% during the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 3,564,878 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $246,583,000 after buying an additional 888,016 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 5,691.5% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 683,863 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $47,303,000 after buying an additional 672,055 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 18.5% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,859,546 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $190,846,000 after buying an additional 446,774 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 778.9% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 370,900 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $25,655,000 after buying an additional 328,700 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,908,862 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $616,226,000 after buying an additional 184,805 shares during the period. 71.03% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About W. R. Berkley

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.

Analyst Recommendations for W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB)

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