Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) by 1.9% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 410,584 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after buying an additional 7,782 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.34% of W.R. Berkley Corporation worth $28,400,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. NEXT Financial Group Inc raised its stake in W.R. Berkley Corporation by 243.9% during the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 1,809 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 1,283 shares during the last quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt raised its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 46.8% in the first quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 1,881 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $133,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 218.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,064 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $146,000 after purchasing an additional 1,415 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation by 17.4% in the first quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 2,700 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $191,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in the second quarter worth $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.18% of the company’s stock.

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W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) opened at 64.49 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $7.82 billion, a PE ratio of 13.69 and a beta of 0.88. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $67.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $68.89. W.R. Berkley Corporation has a 1-year low of $55.55 and a 1-year high of $73.17.

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. W.R. Berkley Corporation had a return on equity of 7.58% and a net margin of 7.86%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.82 EPS. On average, analysts predict that W.R. Berkley Corporation will post $2.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 4th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 20th will be given a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 19th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.87%. W.R. Berkley Corporation’s payout ratio is 11.84%.

W.R. Berkley Corporation declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to repurchase 10,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the insurance provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on WRB shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $70.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 7th. BidaskClub upgraded W.R. Berkley Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Boenning Scattergood restated a “hold” rating on shares of W.R. Berkley Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $67.00 price target on W.R. Berkley Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $65.00.

W.R. Berkley Corporation Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB)

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