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

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. “

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Validus Holdings in a report on Thursday. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Validus Holdings from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. BidaskClub raised shares of Validus Holdings from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 12th. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of Validus Holdings in a report on Monday, September 11th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. Finally, UBS AG lowered their price target on shares of Validus Holdings from $57.00 to $50.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.83.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) traded up 0.4610% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $49.5775. The stock had a trading volume of 99,633 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $48.23 and its 200-day moving average is $52.27. The company has a market capitalization of $3.94 billion, a PE ratio of 13.6728 and a beta of 0.65. Validus Holdings has a 1-year low of $41.15 and a 1-year high of $58.76.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The insurance provider reported $1.09 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.10. Validus Holdings had a net margin of 11.81% and a return on equity of 7.75%. The firm had revenue of $675.27 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $922.84 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.66 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Validus Holdings will post $1.22 EPS for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VR. IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Validus Holdings by 14.0% during the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,154 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after acquiring an additional 265 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at approximately $116,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in shares of Validus Holdings by 10.1% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,382 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 219 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of Validus Holdings by 93.7% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,650 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $138,000 after acquiring an additional 1,282 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Validus Holdings by 10.6% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,905 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 278 shares in the last quarter. 93.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Validus Holdings

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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