Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR) gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $49.00, but opened at $49.10. Validus Holdings shares last traded at $49.59, with a volume of 108,694 shares.

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

The company’s 50-day moving average is $47.61 and its 200-day moving average is $46.19. The firm has a market cap of $4.03 billion and a PE ratio of 11.50.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 29th. The company reported $1.39 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.18. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.98 earnings per share. The business earned $1 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $560.34 million. Validus Holdings’s revenue was up 8.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Validus Holdings, Ltd. will post $4.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th were paid a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.83%.

In related news, CEO Lixin Zeng sold 4,887 shares of Validus Holdings stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.36, for a total value of $236,335.32. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 36,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,770,314.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Andrew E. Kudera sold 10,000 shares of Validus Holdings stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 4th. The stock was 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 approximately $1,826,424.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors recently modified their holdings of the company. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 59,133 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,737,000 after buying an additional 792 shares in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 335,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,533,000 after buying an additional 2,052 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 232,885 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,780,000 after buying an additional 8,824 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 275,950 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,774,000 after buying an additional 9,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 108.9% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 34,122 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,579,000 after buying an additional 17,786 shares in the last quarter.

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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