W.R. Berkley (WRB) will raise its quarterly dividend by 9.1 percent to $0.12 per share. Last year the insurance holding company raised its regular dividend by 10.0 percent, marking the 18th consecutive year of dividend increases.
The next dividend of 12 cents will be paid on June 30, 2020 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 23, 2020. A regular annual dividend rate of 48 cents per share yields 0.9% at a stock price of $56.47.
W. R. Berkley Corporation has announced a dividend hike every year since 2010. In 2009 the company did not announce a dividend hike during the financial crisis. On an annualized basis the dividend has been raised for 19 consecutive years now if this year's increase is included.
The company pays approximately $86 million in dividends annually and currently has a market cap of $10.1 billion. This explains the small dividend yield of less than 0.9%. W.R. Berkley's stock price was up in each of the past six years, making 2020 (with a 18.3 percent YTD loss) the first losing year for the company if the stock price stays below last year's close of $69.10.
Today's dividend hike is the second biggest increase by W.R. Berkley announced in the last five years, with only last year's 10.0 percent dividend hike being higher than the 2020 increase. The average dividend growth rate over the last 10 years is 10.6 percent. The 5 year average dividend growth rate for WRB is now 8.4 percent, if we include the dividend hike that was announced today.
W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company. The company operates worldwide in two segments of the property casualty insurance business: Insurance and Reinsurance. The insurance business consists of predominantly commercial insurance business, including excess and surplus lines, admitted lines and specialty personal lines throughout the United States, as well as insurance business in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, Scandinavia, Asia and Australia. The reinsurance business operates as reinsurance business on a facultative and treaty basis, primarily in the United States, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and South Africa. Founded in 1967, W. R. Berkley Corporation has grown from a small investment management firm into one of the largest commercial lines property and casualty insurers in the United States. The company has paid cash dividends each year since 1978.