Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Validus Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:VR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $58.00 price objective on the stock.
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. “
Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on shares of Validus Holdings in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. They issued an overweight rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company.
Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) opened at 51.64 on Friday. Validus Holdings has a 52-week low of $41.73 and a 52-week high of $52.39. The stock has a market cap of $4.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.00 and a beta of 0.59. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $50.40 and its 200-day moving average is $48.44.
Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.09. Validus Holdings had a net margin of 16.72% and a return on equity of 8.93%. The firm earned $574.47 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $576.08 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.16 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Validus Holdings will post $4.04 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.71%. Validus Holdings’s payout ratio is currently 29.72%.
In other Validus Holdings news, Director Michael E.A. Carpenter sold 9,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.60, for a total value of $461,280.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 281,733 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,973,956.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Jeffrey W. Greenberg sold 54,872 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.47, for a total transaction of $2,714,517.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,027 shares in the company, valued at approximately $149,745.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.19% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VR. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in Validus Holdings during the second quarter worth approximately $15,431,000. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in Validus Holdings by 23.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 71,838 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,390,000 after buying an additional 13,432 shares during the last quarter. James Investment Research Inc. boosted its position in Validus Holdings by 0.6% in the second quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 9,656 shares of the company’s stock worth $469,000 after buying an additional 53 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in Validus Holdings by 42.5% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 78,487 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,704,000 after buying an additional 23,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. boosted its position in Validus Holdings by 6.5% in the second quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 1,521,517 shares of the company’s stock worth $73,925,000 after buying an additional 92,831 shares during the last quarter. 93.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Validus Holdings
Validus Holdings, Ltd. is a holding company. The Company conducts its operations through four operating segments: Validus Re, Talbot, Western World and AlphaCat. Validus Re is a Bermuda-based reinsurance segment focused treaty reinsurance. AlphaCat is an investment advisor managing capital from third parties and the Company in insurance linked securities and other investments in the property catastrophe reinsurance space.
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