W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) Short Interest Down 9.2% in January

W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) was the target of a significant decline in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,680,000 shares, a decline of 9.2% from the January 15th total of 2,950,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,310,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.0 days. Currently, 1.8% of the company’s stock are short sold.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on WRB. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on W. R. Berkley from $80.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 29th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on W. R. Berkley from $68.26 to $70.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 11th. ValuEngine upgraded W. R. Berkley from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 6th. Deutsche Bank lifted their price objective on W. R. Berkley from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 29th. Finally, Buckingham Research upgraded W. R. Berkley from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.00.

Shares of NYSE:WRB opened at $79.40 on Friday. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $71.87 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $70.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.49, a PEG ratio of 2.92 and a beta of 0.61. W. R. Berkley has a 12-month low of $53.97 and a 12-month high of $79.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 28th. The insurance provider reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.01). W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 10.73% and a net margin of 8.63%. The business had revenue of $1.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.71 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.03 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that W. R. Berkley will post 3 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Stifel Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 2.7% in the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 190,715 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $13,785,000 after purchasing an additional 4,932 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 3.8% in the third quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 39,056 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,821,000 after purchasing an additional 1,421 shares during the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC raised its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 1,083.5% in the third quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 91,425 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,604,000 after purchasing an additional 83,700 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 10.6% in the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 799,888 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $57,775,000 after purchasing an additional 76,573 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 61.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,067,342 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,257,109,000 after purchasing an additional 7,221,477 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.30% of the company’s stock.

W. R. Berkley Company Profile

W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as a commercial lines writer in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. The Insurance segment underwrites commercial insurance business, including premises operations, commercial automobile, property, products liability, and professional liability lines.

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