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Is WRB Stock A Buy or Sell?

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Debasis Saha
·5 min read
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The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the December quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors experienced strong gains on the back of a strong market performance, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as to maintain the desired risk profile. As a result, the relevancy of these public filings and their content is indisputable, as they may reveal numerous high-potential stocks. The following article will discuss the smart money sentiment towards W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB).

Is WRB stock a buy? Hedge funds were getting more optimistic. The number of bullish hedge fund positions rose by 9 recently. W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) was in 37 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of December. The all time high for this statistic is 34. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that WRB isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings). There were 28 hedge funds in our database with WRB holdings at the end of September.

Robert Pohly of Samlyn Capital

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, the House passed a landmark bill decriminalizing marijuana. So, we are checking out this under the radar cannabis stock right now. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to buy to identify the next stock with 10x upside potential. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website. Now we're going to analyze the new hedge fund action regarding W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB).

Do Hedge Funds Think WRB Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

Heading into the first quarter of 2021, a total of 37 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 32% from one quarter earlier. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards WRB over the last 22 quarters. With hedgies' sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

Is WRB A Good Stock To Buy?
Is WRB A Good Stock To Buy?

According to Insider Monkey's hedge fund database, Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, holds the biggest position in W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB). Citadel Investment Group has a $132.9 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Citadel Investment Group's heels is Samlyn Capital, led by Robert Pohly, holding a $111.5 million position; the fund has 1.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other members of the smart money that are bullish consist of Jonathan Bloomberg's BloombergSen, Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley's Polar Capital and Israel Englander's Millennium Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position BloombergSen allocated the biggest weight to W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB), around 5.78% of its 13F portfolio. Samlyn Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 1.6 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to WRB.

There weren't any hedge funds initiating brand new positions in the stock during the fourth quarter.

Let's also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB). We will take a look at Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited (NYSE:RDY), Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY), RPM International Inc. (NYSE:RPM), CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP), Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP), Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ:ZLAB), and Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS). All of these stocks' market caps resemble WRB's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position RDY,12,219212,-1 NLY,21,317077,-6 RPM,25,102192,-1 CNP,30,437880,10 IEP,4,11272038,0 ZLAB,30,588052,2 UHS,39,743837,5 Average,23,1954327,1.3 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 23 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $1954 million. That figure was $681 million in WRB's case. Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for WRB is 87.1. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 81.2% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 26 percentage points. These stocks gained 7.9% in 2021 through April 1st and still beat the market by 0.4 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on WRB as the stock returned 15.2% since the end of Q4 (through 4/1) and outperformed the market. Hedge funds were rewarded for their relative bullishness.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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