Inside W.R. Berkley’s Upcoming Second Quarter Earnings Release

W.R. Berkley Corp (NASDAQ:WRB) will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, July 25, 2011. W.R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company in the United States which operates in five business segments: specialty insurance, regional property casualty insurance, alternative markets, reinsurance and international.

W.R. Berkley Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 43 cents per share, a decline of 33.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 63 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down and dropped from 61 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $2.38 per share, a decline of 11.5% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the first quarter, it reported profit of 66 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 64 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported net income of 68 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.21 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 4.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.88 billion for the year, a rise of 3.4% from last year’s revenue of $4.72 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about W.R. Berkley with seven of 13 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 7% to $1.23 billion in first quarter. The figure rose 4.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 3.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 0.7% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has now seen net income fall in each of the last three quarters. In first quarter, net income fell 1.8% from the year earlier, while the figure fell 5.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 4.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE:WTM), American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG), The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV), First Mercury Financial Corp. (NYSE:FMR), Global Indemnity plc (NASDAQ:GBLI), OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE:OB), Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL), American International Group (NYSE:AIG), Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACGL), and CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA).

Stock Price Performance: During May 20, 2011 to July 19, 2011, the stock price had fallen $1.42 (-4.3%) from $32.94 to $31.52. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 23, 2011 and April 1, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 8.6% (+$2.60) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between January 3, 2011 and January 10, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 3.5% (-97 cents) over that span. Shares are up $4.27 (+15.7%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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