W.R. Berkley Corp Third Quarter Earnings on Deck

W.R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. 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 39 cents per share, a decline of 41.8% 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 62 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 58 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 21.2% versus last year to $2.12.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to top estimates for the third straight quarter. Last quarter, it reported profit of 46 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 43 cents, and the quarter before, the company exceeded forecasts by 2 cents with profit of 66 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 64 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.25 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.9% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.95 billion for the year, a rise of 4.9% from last year’s revenue of $4.72 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about W.R. Berkley with seven of 12 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 24.6% to $83.1 million (56 cents a share) from $110.2 million (70 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 9.3% to $1.27 billion from $1.16 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 7% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 4.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 3.5% 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), Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACGL), and CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA).

Stock Price Performance: During September 22, 2011 to October 20, 2011, the stock price had risen $3.64 (13%) from $28.08 to $31.72. 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. Shares are up $4.54 (+16.7%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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