Short Interest in W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) Expands By 18.4%

W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,480,000 shares, a growth of 18.4% from the June 30th total of 1,250,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 925,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.6 days. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

WRB stock opened at $61.75 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 0.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. W. R. Berkley has a twelve month low of $43.05 and a twelve month high of $79.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.03 and a beta of 0.83. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $59.21 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $60.88.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 21st. The insurance provider reported $0.06 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.17). W. R. Berkley had a net margin of 4.57% and a return on equity of 7.53%. The firm had revenue of $1.78 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.91 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that W. R. Berkley will post 2.29 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Lincoln National Corp bought a new position in W. R. Berkley during the second quarter valued at $203,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in W. R. Berkley during the second quarter valued at $25,000. UBS Group AG increased its position in W. R. Berkley by 147.6% during the second quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 175,262 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $10,040,000 after acquiring an additional 104,472 shares during the last quarter. Mackay Shields LLC increased its position in W. R. Berkley by 3.5% during the second quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 22,567 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,293,000 after acquiring an additional 761 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Michigan Retirement System increased its position in W. R. Berkley by 8.2% during the second quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 36,057 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,066,000 after acquiring an additional 2,725 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.83% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 22nd. Cfra lowered their target price on shares of W. R. Berkley from $77.00 to $55.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of W. R. Berkley from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $60.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Saturday, June 27th. UBS Group upped their price target on shares of W. R. Berkley from $60.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of W. R. Berkley from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $64.25.

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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