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W.R. Berkley Corp. (NYSE:WRB)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reiterated by Zacks in a research note issued on Wednesday, AnalystRatings.NET reports. They currently have a $44.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 3.36% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “W.R. Berkley Corp.’s first-quarter earnings came in ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and were up 35% year over year. The earnings beat came on the back of higher premiums written, pricing increases outpacing loss cost trends and a lower share count. The company is witnessing stable retention along with a general rate hike over the past several quarters. We believe that the insurance pricing cycle has entered a safe zone and the magnitude of the price rise will increase going forward. The company’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 also promising as it reveals prospects for long-term earnings growth. However, exposure to catastrophes and a low interest rate environment are some headwinds. We thus maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock. “

W.R. Berkley Corp. (NYSE:WRB) traded up 2.60% on Wednesday, hitting $42.57. The stock had a trading volume of 813,788 shares. W.R. Berkley Corp. has a 52 week low of $37.82 and a 52 week high of $45.00. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $41.09 and its 200-day moving average is $41.96. The company has a market cap of $5.472 billion and a P/E ratio of 11.69.

W.R. Berkley Corp. (NYSE:WRB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 22nd. The company reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.22. The company had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.65 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.83 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that W.R. Berkley Corp. will post $3.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Separately, analysts at Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of W.R. Berkley Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 30th. They now have a $36.50 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.58.

W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) is an insurance holding company.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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