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Category: WRB

WRB – Should You Retain W.R. Berkley (WRB) Stock in Your Portfolio?

W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB Free Report) has been benefiting from higher premiums, lower claims frequency in certain lines of business and sufficient liquidity.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for W.R. Berkley’s 2023 earnings is $4.57, indicating a 4.3% increase from the year-ago reported figure on 8.1% higher revenues of $11.86 billion. The consensus estimate for 2024 earnings is pegged at $5.44, indicating a 19.1% increase from the year-ago reported figure on 8.1% higher revenues of $12.82 billion.

Earnings Surprise History

WRB has a decent earnings surprise history. It beat estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed in one, the average being 12.24%.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

W.R. Berkley currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). In the past year, the stock has lost 14.6% against the industry’s growth of 2.3%.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Business Tailwinds

The Insurance business of W.R. Berkley is well-poised to grow, given higher premiums from other liability, short-tail lines, workers’ compensation, commercial automobile and professional liability.

Higher premiums at casualty reinsurance, property reinsurance and monoline excess are likely to drive the performance of the Reinsurance & Monoline Excess segment. Underwriting income should gain from the compounding rate improvement above loss cost trends along with growth in exposure and lower claims frequency in certain lines of business.

W.R. Berkley is one of the largest commercial lines property and casualty insurance providers. It has a solid balance sheet with sufficient liquidity and robust cash flows that support growth initiatives and effective capital deployment.

Net investment income witnessed a CAGR of 5.4% in the past eight years (2015-2022). The combination of a high-quality fixed maturity portfolio, along with solid operating cash flow, enabled the insurer to invest at higher interest rates in the first quarter of 2023. The metric should continue to improve as WRB also invests in alternative assets, such as private equity funds and direct real estate opportunities.

W.R. Berkley maintains a solid balance sheet with sufficient liquidity and strong cash flows. The company generated strong operating cash flow of $445 million in the first quarter of 2023. A strong capital position helps the company deploy capital via share repurchases, special dividends and dividend hikes that enhance shareholders’ value.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the property and casualty insurance industry are Kinsale Capital Group, Inc. (KNSL Free Report) , RLI Corp. (RLI Free Report) and Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS Free Report) . While Kinsale Capital and RLI Corp. sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Axis Capital carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kinsale Capital has a solid track record of beating earnings estimates in each of the last trailing four quarters, the average being 14.77%. In the past year, KNSL has gained 58.1%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for KNSL’s 2023 and 2024 earnings per share is pegged at $10.32 and $12.41, indicating a year-over-year increase of 32.3% and 20.2%, respectively.

RLI Corp.’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the last trailing four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 45.50%. In the past year, RLI Corp. has gained 11.4%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RLI’s 2023 earnings has moved 2.9% north in the past seven days.

Axis Capital beat estimates in three of the last trailing four quarters and missed in one, the average being 6.50%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 has moved 2.7% north in the past 30 days.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AXS’ 2023 and 2024 earnings per share is pegged at $7.70 and $8.60, indicating a year-over-year increase of 32.5% and 11.7%, respectively. In the year-to-date period, AXS has lost 5.7%.

WRB – W.R. Berkley (WRB) Reports Q1 Earnings: What Key Metrics Have to Say

For the quarter ended March 2023, W.R. Berkley (WRB Free Report) reported revenue of $2.87 billion, up 12.7% over the same period last year. EPS came in at $1.00, compared to $1.10 in the year-ago quarter.

The reported revenue compares to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.8 billion, representing a surprise of +2.40%. The company delivered an EPS surprise of -15.97%, with the consensus EPS estimate being $1.19.

While investors closely watch year-over-year changes in headline numbers — revenue and earnings — and how they compare to Wall Street expectations to determine their next course of action, some key metrics always provide a better insight into a company’s underlying performance.

As these metrics influence top- and bottom-line performance, comparing them to the year-ago numbers and what analysts estimated helps investors project a stock’s price performance more accurately.

Here is how W.R. Berkley performed in the just reported quarter in terms of the metrics most widely monitored and projected by Wall Street analysts:

  • Combined Ratio – Total: 90.6% versus the four-analyst average estimate of 88.43%.
  • Expense Ratio: 28.8% versus the four-analyst average estimate of 28.68%.
  • Loss Ratio – Insurance Segment (Underwriting Ratios): 62.8% compared to the 59.75% average estimate based on four analysts.
  • Net premiums earned: $2.49 billion compared to the $2.50 billion average estimate based on four analysts.
  • Revenues from non-insurance businesses: $124.20 million versus the four-analyst average estimate of $101.78 million.
  • Net investment income: $223.40 million versus the four-analyst average estimate of $223.35 million.
  • Net investment gains (losses)- Net realized gains on investment sales: $22.61 million versus $107.93 million estimated by three analysts on average.
  • Insurance service fees: $32.86 million versus the three-analyst average estimate of $29.76 million.
  • Other income (loss): $0.11 million compared to the $1.08 million average estimate based on three analysts.

View all Key Company Metrics for W.R. Berkley here>>>

Shares of W.R. Berkley have returned +2.9% over the past month versus the Zacks S&P 500 composite’s +6.2% change. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), indicating that it could perform in line with the broader market in the near term.

WRB – W.R. Berkley (WRB) Lags Q1 Earnings Estimates

W.R. Berkley (WRB Free Report) came out with quarterly earnings of $1 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19 per share. This compares to earnings of $1.10 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of -15.97%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this insurance company would post earnings of $1.07 per share when it actually produced earnings of $1.16, delivering a surprise of 8.41%.

Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates three times.

W.R. Berkley, which belongs to the Zacks Insurance – Property and Casualty industry, posted revenues of $2.87 billion for the quarter ended March 2023, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.40%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $2.55 billion. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates four times over the last four quarters.

The sustainability of the stock’s immediate price movement based on the recently-released numbers and future earnings expectations will mostly depend on management’s commentary on the earnings call.

W.R. Berkley shares have lost about 13.4% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500’s gain of 8.2%.

What’s Next for W.R. Berkley?

While W.R. Berkley has underperformed the market so far this year, the question that comes to investors’ minds is: what’s next for the stock?

There are no easy answers to this key question, but one reliable measure that can help investors address this is the company’s earnings outlook. Not only does this include current consensus earnings expectations for the coming quarter(s), but also how these expectations have changed lately.

Empirical research shows a strong correlation between near-term stock movements and trends in earnings estimate revisions. Investors can track such revisions by themselves or rely on a tried-and-tested rating tool like the Zacks Rank, which has an impressive track record of harnessing the power of earnings estimate revisions.

Ahead of this earnings release, the estimate revisions trend for W.R. Berkley: mixed. While the magnitude and direction of estimate revisions could change following the company’s just-released earnings report, the current status translates into a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) for the stock. So, the shares are expected to perform in line with the market in the near future. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

It will be interesting to see how estimates for the coming quarters and current fiscal year change in the days ahead. The current consensus EPS estimate is $1.19 on $2.87 billion in revenues for the coming quarter and $4.87 on $11.61 billion in revenues for the current fiscal year.

Investors should be mindful of the fact that the outlook for the industry can have a material impact on the performance of the stock as well. In terms of the Zacks Industry Rank, Insurance – Property and Casualty is currently in the top 34% of the 250 plus Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

Berkshire Hathaway B (BRK.B Free Report) , another stock in the same industry, has yet to report results for the quarter ended March 2023.

This company is expected to post quarterly earnings of $2.79 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of -12.3%. The consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days.

Berkshire Hathaway B’s revenues are expected to be $74.47 billion, up 5.2% from the year-ago quarter.

WRB – W. R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) Q4 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) Q4 2022 Earnings Conference Call January 26, 2023 5:00 PM ET

Company Participants

Robert Berkley – President & CEO

Richard Baio – EVP & CFO

Conference Call Participants

Elyse Greenspan – Wells Fargo

David Motemaden – Evercore ISI

Mark Hughes – Truist Securities

Alex Scott – Goldman Sachs

Ryan Tunis – Autonomous Research

Josh Shanker – Bank of America

Yaron Kinar – Jefferies

Meyer Shields – KBW

Mike Zaremski – BMO


Good day, and welcome to the W. R. Berkley Corporation’s Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Earnings Conference Call. Just a reminder, today’s call is being recorded. The speakers remarks may contain forward-looking statements. Some of these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words including, without limitation, believes, expects or estimates.

We caution you that such forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by us that the future plans, estimates or expectations contemplated by us will, in fact, be achieved. Please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and our other filings made with the SEC for a description of the business environment in which we operate and the important factors that may materially affect our results.

W. R. Berkley Corporation is not under any obligation, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

And now, I’ll turn the call over to Mr. Rob Berkley. Mr. Berkley. Please go ahead.

Robert Berkley

Bo, thank you very much, and good afternoon all, and a warm welcome to our fourth quarter call. On this end-of-the phone co-hosting with me is Bill Berkley, our Executive Chairman, as well as Rich Baio, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer We’re going to follow

WRB – W. R. Berkley Corporation Names Glen Riddell Chief Executive Officer of Berkley Re Australia

GREENWICH, Conn.–()–W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) today announced the appointment of Glen Riddell, chief executive officer of Berkley Re Asia, to the additional role of chief executive officer of Berkley Re Australia. The appointment is effective December 31, 2021. Tony Piper will continue as chief executive officer of Berkley Re Australia until that time, when he will transition into the role of chairman of the operating unit.

Mr. Riddell joined Berkley Re Asia in 2015 as chief executive officer and has 30 years of property and casualty (re)insurance experience in the Asia Pacific region. In his dual role as CEO of Berkley Re Asia and Berkley Re Australia, he will bring together the management and oversight of both operating units. Mr. Piper joined Berkley Re Australia in 2009 as assistant general manager and was appointed CEO in 2013. As chairman, he will retain an active role, assisting the team with strategic client relationships, the transition into this new structure and other special projects and initiatives.

W. Robert Berkley, Jr., president and chief executive officer of W. R. Berkley Corporation, commented on the appointments, “Glen and Tony have been instrumental in positioning Berkley Re Asia and Berkley Re Australia as premier reinsurance providers in their respective territories. Bringing management of the two operations together will enable us to more fully leverage the combined specialist expertise of these two independently strong teams to provide bespoke reinsurance solutions that create greater opportunities for our long-term partners. Glen has done an outstanding job at Berkley Re Asia over the past several years and we are excited that he will be taking on this expanded role. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Tony for his outstanding leadership at Berkley Re Australia and couldn’t be more pleased that he will continue to be actively involved in the day-to-day operations as chairman of our Australian reinsurance business. ”

For further info about products and services available from Berkley Re, please visit www.berkleyre.com.

Founded in 1967, W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company that is among the largest commercial lines writers in the United States and operates worldwide in two segments of the property casualty insurance business: Insurance and Reinsurance & Monoline Excess. For further information about W. R. Berkley Corporation, please visit www.berkley.com.

WRB – WR Berkley: Q2 Earnings Insights

Shares of WR Berkley (NYSE:WRB) increased in after-market trading after the company reported Q2 results.

Quarterly Results

Earnings per share rose 1850.00% year over year to $1.17, which beat the estimate of $0.94.

Revenue of $2,296,000,000 higher by 18.60% from the same period last year, which beat the estimate of $2,160,000,000.


WR Berkley hasn’t issued any earnings guidance for the time being.

WR Berkley hasn’t issued any revenue guidance for the time being.

Details Of The Call

Date: Jul 22, 2021

Time: 05:00 PM

ET Webcast URL: https://ir.berkley.com/news-and-events/events-and-presentations/default.aspx

Price Action

Company’s 52-week high was at $82.43

52-week low: $58.84

Price action over last quarter: down 6.64%

Company Profile

W.R. Berkley is an insurance holding company with a host of subsidiaries that primarily write commercial casualty insurance. The firm specializes in niche products that include various excess and surplus lines, workers’ compensation insurance, self-insurance consulting, reinsurance, and regional commercial lines for small and midsize businesses.

WRB – What Makes W.R. Berkley (WRB) a New Buy Stock

W.R. Berkley (WRB Free Report) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates — one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.

The Zacks rating relies solely on a company’s changing earnings picture. It tracks EPS estimates for the current and following years from the sell-side analysts covering the stock through a consensus measure — the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.

Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for W.R. Berkley basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.

Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock Prices

The change in a company’s future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. That’s partly because of the influence of institutional investors that use earnings and earnings estimates for calculating the fair value of a company’s shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.

For W.R. Berkley, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company’s underlying business. And investors’ appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.

Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate Revisions

As empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.

The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.

Earnings Estimate Revisions for W.R. Berkley

This insurance company is expected to earn $3.67 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 58.2%.

Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for W.R. Berkley. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 9.6%.

Bottom Line

Unlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a ‘Strong Buy’ rating and the next 15% get a ‘Buy’ rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.

You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>

The upgrade of W.R. Berkley to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term.

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