W.R. Berkley Earnings Preview

W.R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB  ) beat estimates by $0.02 last quarter and investors are hoping it can beat them again. The company will unveil its latest earnings Monday. W.R. Berkley is an insurance holding company in the United States that operates in five business segments: specialty insurance, regional property casualty insurance, alternative markets, reinsurance, and international.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on W.R. Berkley with seven of 13 analysts rating it hold. Analysts don't like W.R. Berkley as much as competitor Arch Capital Group overall. Eight out of 16 analysts rate Arch Capital Group a buy compared to four of 13 for W.R. Berkley. While analysts still rate the stock a hold, they are a little more optimistic about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $1.21 billion in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 4.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.43 per share. Estimates range from $0.27 to $0.53.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 91.9% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 90.3% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced W.R. Berkley, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 64 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of W.R. Berkley, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q1

Q4

Q3

Q2

Net Margin

9.4%

10.3%

8.0%

9.5%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on W.R. Berkley movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your Watchlist.

The Motley Fool owns shares of W.R. Berkley. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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