Validus Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:VR) shares reached a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $49.12 and last traded at $48.99, with a volume of 131,326 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $48.63.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on VR shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Validus Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Saturday, April 2nd. Bank of America Corp. raised Validus Holdings from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Validus Holdings in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.25.

The company has a market capitalization of $3.99 billion and a PE ratio of 11.38. The company’s 50-day moving average is $47.59 and its 200 day moving average is $46.15.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 29th. The company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.18. The firm earned $1 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $560.34 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.98 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Validus Holdings Ltd. will post $4.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th were given a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.86%.

In related news, EVP Andrew E. Kudera sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.72, for a total value of $467,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,093 shares in the company, valued at $1,826,424.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Lixin Zeng sold 4,887 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.36, for a total transaction of $236,335.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 36,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,770,314.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in the company. Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 31.6% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,335,795 shares of the company’s stock valued at $61,834,000 after buying an additional 320,684 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 61.3% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 426,044 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,721,000 after buying an additional 161,933 shares during the period. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 43.8% in the fourth quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 335,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,535,000 after buying an additional 102,251 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,907,426 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,299,000 after buying an additional 85,497 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP raised its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 119.7% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 99,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,622,000 after buying an additional 54,402 shares during the period.

Validus Holdings, Ltd. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the global insurance and reinsurance. The Company operates in four segments: Validus Re, AlphaCat, Talbot and Western World. Validus Re is a Bermuda-based reinsurance segment focused on short tail lines of reinsurance.

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