Shares of Validus Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:VR) hit a new 52-week high on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $50.05 and last traded at $49.91, with a volume of 98,583 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $49.78.

Several brokerages have weighed in on VR. Zacks Investment Research cut Validus Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Bank of America Corp. raised Validus Holdings from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, May 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Validus Holdings in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.25.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $48.12 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.50. The company has a market capitalization of $4.02 billion and a P/E ratio of 10.61.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.09. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.16 earnings per share. The firm earned $574.47 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $576.08 million. Equities analysts predict that Validus Holdings Ltd. will post $4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Lixin Zeng sold 4,887 shares of the firm’s 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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 36,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,770,314.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CAO Patrick Boisvert sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $72,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 2,413 shares in the company, valued at $115,824. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in VR. Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its stake in Validus Holdings by 108.9% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 34,122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,579,000 after buying an additional 17,786 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP raised its stake in Validus Holdings by 175.3% in the fourth quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 34,965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,619,000 after buying an additional 22,266 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Validus Holdings by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 59,133 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,737,000 after buying an additional 792 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP raised its stake in 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. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in 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 valued at $15,533,000 after buying an additional 2,052 shares during the period.

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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