Validus (NYSE:VR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday.

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 equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. UBS Group cut their price objective on shares of Validus from $50.00 to $48.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. TheStreet downgraded shares of Validus from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Validus from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America upgraded shares of Validus from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Barclays restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Validus in a research report on Tuesday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.33.

Shares of Validus (NYSE:VR) remained flat at $$46.61 during trading hours on Friday. 435,480 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 586,266. Validus has a 12-month low of $41.15 and a 12-month high of $58.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,703.72, a price-to-earnings ratio of -71.71, a P/E/G ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.

Validus (NYSE:VR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The insurance provider reported ($3.22) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($3.30) by $0.08. Validus had a negative net margin of 1.38% and a negative return on equity of 0.49%. The business had revenue of $407.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $453.04 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.02 EPS. Validus’s revenue was up 24.3% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Validus will post -0.3 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Lixin Zeng sold 26,136 shares of Validus stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.10, for a total value of $1,361,685.60. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 57,855 shares in the company, valued at $3,014,245.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, President Kean Driscoll sold 6,875 shares of Validus stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.30, for a total transaction of $345,812.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 39,886 shares of company stock valued at $2,024,848 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 2.33% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sit Investment Associates Inc. raised its position in shares of Validus by 87.0% in the fourth quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 292,140 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $13,707,000 after buying an additional 135,950 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in shares of Validus by 4.4% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 605,851 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $29,814,000 after buying an additional 25,636 shares in the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Validus in the third quarter valued at approximately $78,510,000. Zions Bancorporation acquired a new stake in shares of Validus in the third quarter valued at approximately $116,000. Finally, Nepsis Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Validus in the third quarter valued at approximately $7,848,000. Institutional investors own 96.24% of the company’s stock.

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Validus 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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