W.R. Berkley Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

W.R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 31, 2012. 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.

W.R. Berkley Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 48 cents per share, a decline of 29.4% 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 61 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 53 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 24.2% versus last year to $2.04.

Past Earnings Performance: The company’s quarterly results have come in above estimates for the last three quarters. Last quarter, the company booked profit of 44 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 39 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 1.6% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.21 billion.

Analyst Ratings: The stock has a mean recommendation of hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 17.4% to $77.3 million (53 cents a share) from $93.6 million (61 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 8.8% to $1.28 billion from $1.18 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 9.3% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 7% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 4.7% in the fourth 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), Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACGL), and CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA).

Stock Price Performance: During November 25, 2011 to January 25, 2012, the stock price had risen $1.91 (5.8%) from $32.97 to $34.88. 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% (+$2.59) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 6.4% (-$1.93) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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