Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Validus Holdings, Ltd., through its principal operating subsidiary Validus Reinsurance, Ltd., is a global provider of short-tail lines of reinsurance including property catastrophe, property pro-rata and property per risk, marine and energy, and other specialty lines. Validus was formed in December following the significant natural catastrophes of 2005 with an experienced management team and an unencumbered capital base of approximately $one billion. “

A number of other analysts also recently commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Validus Holdings from $56.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Validus Holdings in a report on Thursday, April 27th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Validus Holdings from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Validus Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Validus Holdings presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.40.

Shares of Validus Holdings (NYSE VR) opened at 52.17 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $52.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.38. Validus Holdings has a one year low of $47.14 and a one year high of $58.76. The company has a market capitalization of $4.13 billion, a PE ratio of 14.82 and a beta of 0.64.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The insurance provider reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.22. Validus Holdings had a return on equity of 7.05% and a net margin of 11.88%. The company had revenue of $990.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.03 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Validus Holdings will post $3.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.91%. Validus Holdings’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.18%.

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In related news, insider Patrick Boisvert sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total transaction of $53,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 5,714 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $305,127.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Andrew E. Kudera sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.90, for a total transaction of $529,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,841 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,737,288.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 77,302 shares of company stock valued at $4,100,477 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 2.33% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VR. M&R Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Validus Holdings during the second quarter worth $104,000. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Validus Holdings during the first quarter worth $162,000. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in Validus Holdings by 408.8% in the first quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 3,602 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 2,894 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC bought a new position in Validus Holdings during the fourth quarter worth $203,000. Finally, Sciencast Management LP bought a new position in Validus Holdings during the fourth quarter worth $204,000. 97.41% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Validus Holdings Company Profile

Validus Holdings, Ltd. is a holding company. The Company operates through four segments: Validus Re, Talbot, Western World and AlphaCat. Validus Re is a Bermuda-based reinsurance segment focused treaty reinsurance. Validus Re concentrates on first-party property and other reinsurance risks. Talbot is a specialty insurance segment operating within the Lloyd’s insurance market through Syndicate 1183.

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