W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “W.R. Berkley has been investing in a number of startups since 2006 as well as establishing new units, enabling 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 a strong capital position are other positives. However, exposures to highly competitive insurance market and cat loss are dampeners. With respect to fourth quarter results, W.R. Berkley’s earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate but deteriorated year over year on lower revenues as well as net investment income. Shares of W.R. Berkley underperformed the industry in a year.”
A number of other brokerages also recently commented on WRB. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $63.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $73.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.38.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WRB. Berkley W R Corp acquired a new position in W. R. Berkley in the third quarter valued at $5,454,000. Markel Corp boosted its stake in W. R. Berkley by 125.0% in the third quarter. Markel Corp now owns 18,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,201,000 after acquiring an additional 10,000 shares in the last quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in W. R. Berkley in the third quarter valued at $1,223,000. Parametrica Management Ltd boosted its stake in W. R. Berkley by 80.6% in the third quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd now owns 5,303 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $354,000 after acquiring an additional 2,367 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crestline Management LP boosted its stake in W. R. Berkley by 28.3% in the third quarter. Crestline Management LP now owns 29,080 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,941,000 after acquiring an additional 6,417 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.18% of the company’s stock.
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W. R. Berkley 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.
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