Buy WR Berkley Capital 6.75% Trust Pref

02/13/2009 7:46 am EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

The price is up 12.2% since I bought these shares of Berkeley Preferred (WRB-A) and, because of that, the yield is down from 8.85% on February 11.  But at 7.6% this is still a great way to make some money if, as I expect, the market goes sideways this summer. Of course, none of that would matter if the company wasn’t doing a good job at navigating the financial crisis. The $108 million write-down that WR Berkley took in the fourth quarter, for example, was on invested assets of $12.5 billion. In April the company told Wall Street that it expects a turn for the better in the pricing of its insurance lines by the end of 2009. As of June 30, I’m raising my target price to $24 a share by March 2009. (Full disclosure: I own shares of W.R. Berkley Preferred A in my personal portfolio.)
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