W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) stock fell -1.54% on Friday to $61.18 against a previous-day closing price of $62.14. With 1.25 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.48 million shares. During the session, the Insurance – Property & Casualty company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $62.25 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $61.11. The 52-week range on WRB shows that it touched its highest point at $71.77 and its lowest point at $46.17 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $76.73. With its current market cap of 16.52 billion, WRB has annualized dividend of $0.40 while the current yield stands at 0.65%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.66.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of WRB was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -1.00%, but this was down by -9.99% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -10.67% while six-month performance rose 5.37%. The stock gained 30.20% in the past year, while it has gained 12.24% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for WRB yields 4.75 with Next year EPS estimates of 4.84. For the next quarter, that number is 0.89. This implies an EPS growth rate of 95.00% for this year and 15.56% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 9.00% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 11.90%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 276.77 million WRB shares are outstanding with a float of 201.94 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 2.61 million, which was 0.99% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. William Robert Berkley as the firm’s Exec. Chairman, Mr. William Robert Berkley Jr. serves as its Pres, CEO & Director.
Through their ownership of 68.57% of WRB’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 41.77% of WRB, in contrast to 26.83% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 21.59%. As the largest shareholder in WRB with 8.87% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 23,508,082 shares worth 23,508,082. A second-largest stockholder of WRB, SSgA Funds Management, Inc., holds 11,940,770 shares, controlling over 4.50% of the firm’s shares. Janus Henderson Investors US LLC is the third largest shareholder in WRB, holding 10,454,426 shares or 3.94% stake. With a 2.85% stake in WRB, the Janus Henderson Enterprise Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 7,554,780 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital SMID, which owns about 2.69% of WRB stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 7,127,314 shares valued at 486.51 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index holds 2.21% of the stake in WRB, owning 5,855,085 shares worth 399.67 million.
An Overview of Recent Financials:
Understanding a company as a customer does not mean you will understand it as an investor. The wise investor uses quantitative research to analyze metrics such as revenue, net income, and earnings. It generated $179.32M net income for the quarter, which came to $1.33B over the last twelve months.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for WRB since 14 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 7 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 5 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 1 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 1 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With WRB analysts setting a high price target of $83.00 and a low target of $68.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $76.73. Based on these targets, WRB could surge 35.67% to reach the target high and rise by 11.15% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 25.42% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. WRB will report FY 2022 earnings on 01/31/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $4.40 being high and $3.85 being low. For WRB, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $4.21. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. W. R. Berkley Corporation surprised analysts by $0.26 when it reported $1.12 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.86. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.15. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.02 and the low estimate is $0.68. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.88.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded WRB stock several times over the past three months with 9 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 26,955 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 20 while that of sell transactions has risen to 12 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 199,781 while 83,905 shares were sold.