The Navigators Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NAVG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “The Navigators Group, Inc. is a holding company with twelve active wholly owned subsidiaries. They primarily write marine, onshore energy, engineering and construction insurance, and a contractors’ general liability program. As underwritten by Navigators, marine insurance includes hull, energy, liability and cargo; onshore energy primarily covers property damage with an emphasis on the oil and petrochemical sectors; and engineering and construction primarily covers construction projects including machinery, equipment and loss of use due to delays. “

Shares of The Navigators Group (NASDAQ:NAVG) traded up 0.78% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $97.09. The company had a trading volume of 100,617 shares. The Navigators Group has a 12-month low of $74.74 and a 12-month high of $98.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.41 billion, a PE ratio of 19.29 and a beta of 0.54. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $94.77 and its 200-day moving average is $89.82.

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The Navigators Group (NASDAQ:NAVG) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.02. The Navigators Group had a return on equity of 6.45% and a net margin of 6.69%. The business earned $267.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $270.31 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.34 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that The Navigators Group will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.37%. The Navigators Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 7.14%.

In other The Navigators Group news, SVP R Scott Eisdorfer sold 2,760 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.44, for a total value of $255,134.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 24.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NAVG. Eqis Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in The Navigators Group by 2.6% in the third quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,337 shares of the company’s stock worth $226,000 after buying an additional 59 shares during the period. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its stake in The Navigators Group by 4.5% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 1,401 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System raised its stake in The Navigators Group by 1.8% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 5,702 shares of the company’s stock worth $524,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Profund Advisors LLC raised its stake in The Navigators Group by 5.9% in the second quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 3,152 shares of the company’s stock worth $290,000 after buying an additional 176 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its stake in The Navigators Group by 4.2% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 4,906 shares of the company’s stock worth $451,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.

The Navigators Group Company Profile

The Navigators Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company is an international insurance company focused on marine insurance. The Company’s segments are U.S. Insurance, International Insurance (Int’l Insurance), Global Reinsurance (GlobalRe) and Corporate. The Company’s Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance business primarily offers general liability coverage, and umbrella and excess liability coverage to commercial enterprises through its Primary and Excess Casualty divisions.

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