Wednesday, 26 December 2012

W.R. Berkley insurance stock Rating prices target




Best Insurance Stock - W.R. Berkley insurance stock Rating prices target : Zacks reiterated their neutral rating on shares of W.R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $41.00 target price on the stock.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Berkley posted third-quarter earnings ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimates on the back of higher premium written, pricing gains, higher investment income and a lower share count. Year-to-date, the company has performed favorably and we expect the trend to continue. Berkley is witnessing stable retention and a general rate hike for the seventh consecutive quarter. 
We believe that the insurance pricing cycle has entered a safe zone and the magnitude of the price rise will increase going forward. Berkley’s investments in a number of start-ups during the last four years will enable it to take greater advantage of the improved market scenario. Its International business is another area, which will fuel long-term earnings growth. A strong balance sheet and disciplined capital management are other positives. However, rising loss trends and a low interest rate environment keep us on the sidelines.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on WRB. Analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their price target on shares of W.R. Berkley from $34.00 to $33.00 in a research note to investors on Monday, December 17th. They now have a sell rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at RBC Capital downgraded shares of W.R. Berkley from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research note to investors on Monday, December 17th. They now have a $45.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $42.00. Finally, analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of W.R. Berkley from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, October 2nd. They now have a $35.00 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

W.R. Berkley traded down 1.55% on Wednesday, hitting $38.00. W.R. Berkley has a 52-week low of $33.34 and a 52-week high of $40.39. The company has a market cap of $5.161 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.86.

W.R. Berkley last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 22nd. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.06. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that W.R. Berkley will post $2.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a special dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, December 31st. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 24th will be paid a dividend of $1.00 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 20th.

W. R. Berkley Corporation (W. R. Berkley) is an insurance holding company. The Company operates in five segments of the property casualty insurance business: Specialty, Regional, Alternative markets, Reinsurance and International.

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