Short Interest in Validus Holdings, Ltd. (VR) Decreases By 55.4%

Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 753,772 shares, a decrease of 55.4% from the January 12th total of 1,689,499 shares. Approximately 1.0% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 4,416,228 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 0.2 days.

In related news, President Kean Driscoll sold 6,875 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.78, for a total value of $321,612.50. Following the transaction, the president now owns 103,983 shares in the company, valued at $4,864,324.74. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.33% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VR. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Validus by 5.5% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 5,210 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $271,000 after purchasing an additional 272 shares during the period. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC increased its holdings in shares of Validus by 17.6% in the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 5,527 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $287,000 after purchasing an additional 828 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in shares of Validus in the second quarter worth $10,821,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in shares of Validus by 10.1% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,382 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $124,000 after purchasing an additional 219 shares during the period. Finally, Sit Investment Associates Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Validus by 469.5% in the third quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 156,190 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $7,686,000 after purchasing an additional 128,765 shares during the period. 95.50% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on VR shares. ValuEngine upgraded Validus from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America upgraded Validus from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group increased their target price on Validus from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Validus from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research restated a “strong sell” rating on shares of Validus in a research report on Saturday, January 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.80.

Shares of Validus (NYSE:VR) opened at $67.35 on Thursday. Validus has a 12-month low of $41.15 and a 12-month high of $67.73. 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 released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The insurance provider reported $0.05 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.05 by ($1.00). The firm had revenue of $346.88 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $352.00 million. Validus had a negative return on equity of 1.79% and a negative net margin of 1.70%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.80 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Validus will post 4.13 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.26%. Validus’s payout ratio is currently -176.74%.

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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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