W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) had its price target hoisted by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from $63.00 to $73.00 in a research report issued on Wednesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage presently has an “equal weight” rating on the insurance provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective points to a potential upside of 2.04% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on WRB. UBS Group upped their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $53.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Deutsche Bank cut shares of W. R. Berkley from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $65.71 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, June 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Saturday, July 27th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of W. R. Berkley to $68.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $65.40.

NYSE:WRB traded down $0.61 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $71.54. 89,711 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 546,701. W. R. Berkley has a one year low of $45.91 and a one year high of $72.62. The company has a market cap of $13.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.82 and a beta of 0.72. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $68.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.48 and a quick ratio of 0.48.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The insurance provider reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.18. W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 10.55% and a net margin of 8.81%. The firm had revenue of $1.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.40 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that W. R. Berkley will post 2.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other W. R. Berkley news, Director Mark Ellwood Brockbank sold 77,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.61, for a total transaction of $5,128,970.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 51,329 shares in the company, valued at $3,419,024.69. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 21.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WRB. Hanson McClain Inc. grew its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley by 50.0% during the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 525 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $35,000 after purchasing an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 2.4% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 7,808 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $661,000 after buying an additional 181 shares in the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 49.9% in the second quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 553 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 184 shares in the last quarter. Asset Dedication LLC increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 49.9% in the second quarter. Asset Dedication LLC now owns 571 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE increased its holdings in shares of W. R. Berkley by 30.4% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 833 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $55,000 after buying an additional 194 shares in the last quarter. 72.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About W. R. Berkley

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

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