Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage issued a neutral rating and a $67.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an equal weight rating and set a $70.00 price objective (up from $68.00) on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $67.00 price target on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reissued a hold rating on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $67.14.

Shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE WRB) opened at 65.75 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $7.97 billion, a PE ratio of 13.96 and a beta of 0.88. W.R. Berkley Corporation has a one year low of $55.55 and a one year high of $73.17. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $67.39 and its 200 day moving average price is $68.78.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by ($0.10). The firm had revenue of $1.57 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. W.R. Berkley Corporation had a return on equity of 7.58% and a net margin of 7.86%. W.R. Berkley Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.82 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that W.R. Berkley Corporation will post $2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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W.R. Berkley Corporation announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to buyback 10,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the insurance provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 19th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.85%. W.R. Berkley Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.84%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WRB. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD grew its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 13.8% during the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 7,875 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $556,000 after purchasing an additional 953 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 6.4% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 406,407 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $28,704,000 after purchasing an additional 24,481 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 11.1% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 129,066 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $9,116,000 after purchasing an additional 12,906 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 17.4% during the first quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 2,700 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $191,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank grew its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 4.3% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 75,975 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $5,210,000 after purchasing an additional 3,149 shares during the last quarter. 71.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

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

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