W. R. Berkley CorporationWRB , in its efforts to expand international operations, formed Berkley Insurance Asia. However, regulatory approvals for commencement of operations are pending.
This new unit will cater to commercial insurance coverage needs of North Asian clients through the company's Hong Kong office and Southeast Asian clients through the Singapore office. To better address the insurance needs and manage operations efficiently, the company has appointed industry experts. W. R. Berkley's insurance business in Asia will complement its existing reinsurance presence there.
W. R. Berkley remains focused on building its international business that has seen consistent premium growth over many years. Premium growth in the international unit comes mainly from the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Canada, Scandinavia, Asia and Australia. Through this recent initiative, W. R. Berkley will capitalize on the experience and expertise of the newly appointed senior executives, and can develop and offer product and services by addressing the individual needs of its clients.
W. R. Berkley reported operating income per share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and increased year over year driven by higher revenues. The quarter witnessed favorable underwriting and investment results. However, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has seen downward revisions in the last 30 days. The same moved down by 3 cents to $3.43 for 2016 and by a penny to $3.48 for 2017. We, however, expect analysts to pull estimates up given the company's concerted efforts to fortify its international operations.
Stocks to Consider
W. R. Berkley presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-raked stocks from the same space are Cincinnati Financial Corp CINF , Markel Corp. MKL and NMI Holdings, Inc. NMIH . Each of these stocks sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).