Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

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. “

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on VR. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Validus Holdings in a research report on Thursday. BidaskClub raised Validus Holdings from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, August 12th. UBS AG reduced their target price on Validus Holdings from $57.00 to $50.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. ValuEngine lowered Validus Holdings from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Buckingham Research initiated coverage on Validus Holdings in a report on Monday, September 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $52.00 target price for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.83.

Shares of Validus Holdings (NYSE VR) opened at 51.15 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $48.04 and its 200 day moving average price is $52.19. The company has a market cap of $4.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.11 and a beta of 0.65. Validus Holdings has a 12-month low of $41.15 and a 12-month high of $58.76.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The insurance provider reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.10. Validus Holdings had a return on equity of 7.75% and a net margin of 11.81%. The company had revenue of $675.27 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $922.84 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.66 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Validus Holdings will post $0.29 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. Validus Holdings’s payout ratio is 41.87%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VR. IFP Advisors Inc grew its holdings in shares of Validus Holdings by 14.0% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,154 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 265 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Validus Holdings in the second quarter worth $116,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its holdings in shares of Validus Holdings by 10.1% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,382 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 219 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in shares of Validus Holdings by 93.7% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,650 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $138,000 after acquiring an additional 1,282 shares during the period. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in shares of Validus Holdings by 10.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,905 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $151,000 after acquiring an additional 278 shares during the period. 93.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Validus Holdings

Validus Holdings, Ltd. is a holding company. The Company operates through four segments: Validus Re, Talbot, Western World and AlphaCat. Validus Re is a Bermuda-based reinsurance segment focused treaty reinsurance. Validus Re concentrates on first-party property and other reinsurance risks. Talbot is a specialty insurance segment operating within the Lloyd’s insurance market through Syndicate 1183.

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Analyst Recommendations for Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR)

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