Banco Santander S.A. Buys 139,992 Shares of W. R. Berkley Co. (NYSE:WRB)

Banco Santander S.A. increased its stake in shares of W. R. Berkley Co. (NYSE:WRBGet Rating) by 1,612.8% in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 148,672 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 139,992 shares during the quarter. Banco Santander S.A. owned approximately 0.06% of W. R. Berkley worth $9,900,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Covestor Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of W. R. Berkley in the 4th quarter worth $36,000. Wolff Wiese Magana LLC raised its stake in W. R. Berkley by 49.3% in the first quarter. Wolff Wiese Magana LLC now owns 448 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 148 shares during the last quarter. Clearstead Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in W. R. Berkley by 826.0% in the first quarter. Clearstead Advisors LLC now owns 463 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $31,000 after acquiring an additional 413 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in W. R. Berkley by 1,025.6% in the first quarter. Washington Trust Advisors Inc. now owns 484 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 441 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gemmer Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in W. R. Berkley by 49.9% in the first quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 532 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $35,000 after acquiring an additional 177 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 49.90% of the company’s stock.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on W. R. Berkley from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, May 23rd. Argus assumed coverage on W. R. Berkley in a report on Wednesday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $72.00 price target for the company. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price target on W. R. Berkley to $83.00 in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Jefferies Financial Group raised their price target on W. R. Berkley from $67.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on W. R. Berkley from $63.00 to $75.00 in a report on Friday, April 8th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $70.03.

Insider Buying and Selling at W. R. Berkley

In related news, Director Mark Ellwood Brockbank purchased 4,566 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 29th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $62.00 per share, with a total value of $283,092.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 4,566 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $283,092. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 22.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

W. R. Berkley Trading Up 1.1 %

W. R. Berkley stock opened at $61.83 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. W. R. Berkley Co. has a 52 week low of $47.13 and a 52 week high of $72.32. The company has a market capitalization of $16.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.65. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $66.45 and a 200 day moving average price of $64.98.

W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRBGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The insurance provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.28. W. R. Berkley had a return on equity of 17.26% and a net margin of 12.71%. The company had revenue of $2.68 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.56 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.78 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that W. R. Berkley Co. will post 4.06 EPS for the current year.

W. R. Berkley Increases Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 27th were issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 24th. This is an increase from W. R. Berkley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.09. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.65%. W. R. Berkley’s payout ratio is presently 8.42%.

W. R. Berkley Company Profile

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W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as a commercial lines writer in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance & Monoline Excess. The Insurance segment underwrites commercial insurance business, including premises operations, commercial automobile, property, products liability, and general and professional liability lines.

Further Reading

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

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