W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) and Kinsale Capital Group (NASDAQ:KNSL) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, valuation, risk and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares W.R. Berkley Corporation and Kinsale Capital Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
W.R. Berkley Corporation 7.86% 7.58% 1.66%
Kinsale Capital Group 16.25% 12.31% 4.26%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares W.R. Berkley Corporation and Kinsale Capital Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
W.R. Berkley Corporation $7.71 billion 1.06 $1.15 billion $4.73 14.22
Kinsale Capital Group $163.42 million 5.72 $46.37 million $1.25 35.69

W.R. Berkley Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Kinsale Capital Group. W.R. Berkley Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Kinsale Capital Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

71.2% of W.R. Berkley Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.8% of Kinsale Capital Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 22.1% of W.R. Berkley Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 11.2% of Kinsale Capital Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

W.R. Berkley Corporation has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kinsale Capital Group has a beta of 0.09, indicating that its share price is 91% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for W.R. Berkley Corporation and Kinsale Capital Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
W.R. Berkley Corporation 0 8 1 0 2.11
Kinsale Capital Group 0 0 2 0 3.00

W.R. Berkley Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $66.00, suggesting a potential downside of 1.87%. Kinsale Capital Group has a consensus price target of $43.50, suggesting a potential downside of 2.49%. Given W.R. Berkley Corporation’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe W.R. Berkley Corporation is more favorable than Kinsale Capital Group.

Dividends

W.R. Berkley Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Kinsale Capital Group pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. W.R. Berkley Corporation pays out 11.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Kinsale Capital Group pays out 19.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Kinsale Capital Group has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years. W.R. Berkley Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

Kinsale Capital Group beats W.R. Berkley Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About W.R. Berkley Corporation

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. Its Insurance segment comprises business units, such as Acadia Insurance, American Mining Insurance Group, Berkley Accident and Health, Berkley Agribusiness Risk Specialists, Berkley Aviation and Berkley Canada. Reinsurance consists of its reinsurance business on a facultative and treaty basis, in the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and South Africa. Its Reinsurance segment comprises business units, such as Berkley Re America, Berkley Re Asia Pacific, Berkley Re Direct and Berkley Re UK.

About Kinsale Capital Group

Kinsale Capital Group, Inc. is a specialty insurance company. The Company focuses on the excess and surplus lines (E&S) market in the United States. The Company operates through the Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance segment. The Company markets and sells these insurance products in approximately 50 states and the District of Columbia through a network of independent insurance brokers. The Company’s commercial lines offerings include construction, small business, excess casualty, general casualty, energy, professional liability, life sciences, product liability, allied health, healthcare, commercial property, management liability, environmental, inland marine, commercial insurance and public entity. The Company writes an array of coverages with a focus on smaller commercial buyers. The Company also writes a small amount of homeowners insurance in the personal lines market. The Company’s subsidiaries include Kinsale Management, Inc. and Kinsale Insurance Company.

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