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

A number of brokerages have weighed in on VR. Zacks Investment Research cut Validus Holdings from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. 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. began coverage on Validus Holdings in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 price target for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.25.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $48.33 and a 200-day moving average of $46.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.02 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.62.

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 Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.09. The business earned $574.47 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $576.08 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.16 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Validus Holdings Ltd. will post $4.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.81%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th.

In other news, CAO Patrick Boisvert sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $72,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 2,413 shares in the company, valued at approximately $115,824. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Lixin Zeng sold 4,887 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.36, for a total value 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 approximately $1,770,314.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in the stock. RS Investment Management Co. LLC bought a new position in shares of Validus Holdings during the fourth quarter valued at $31,926,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted 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 last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC boosted 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 last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP boosted 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 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 valued at $1,579,000 after buying an additional 17,786 shares during 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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