W.R. Berkley Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Booking a Profit Again

W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) reported its results for the third quarter. W.R. Berkley 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.

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W.R. Berkley Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Net income for the property and casualty insurance company fell to $77.3 million (53 cents per share) vs. $93.6 million (61 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 17.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 8.8% to $1.28 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: WRB beat the mean analyst estimate of 39 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $1.24 billion.

Quoting Management: William R. Berkley, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased with our third quarter results, especially given the level of catastrophe activity, the difficult economic environment and historically low interest rates. Our net written premiums increased by more than 14% in the quarter as our operating units found opportunities to grow profitably. The visibility of a cycle change is even more evident, with prices for the quarter up three percent over last year. We believe that price increases and premium volume growth will continue.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 9.3% to $1.27 billion in the second quarter. The figure rose 7% in the first quarter from the year earlier and climbed 4.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last three quarters. It beat the mark by 3 cents in the second quarter and by 2 cents in the first quarter.

Net income has dropped 10.7% year over year on average across the last five quarters. Performance was hurt by a 24.6% decline in the second quarter from the year earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: Over the past sixty days, the outlook for the company’s performance next quarter has become increasingly unfavorable. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is 60 cents per share, a drop from 67 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $2.40 a share to $2.12 over the last sixty days.

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), Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACGL), and CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA).

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(Source: Xignite Financials)