Validus Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:VR) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,485,094 shares, a growth of 37.0% from the August 15th total of 1,083,700 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 327,053 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.5 days. Approximately 2.0% of the company’s shares are short sold.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Validus Holdings from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Validus Holdings in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 target price on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.25.

Shares of Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) opened at 49.35 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $50.13 and its 200 day moving average is $47.78. The company has a market cap of $3.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.51 and a beta of 0.57. Validus Holdings has a 1-year low of $41.73 and a 1-year high of $51.43.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.09. Validus Holdings had a return on equity of 8.93% and a net margin of 16.72%. The company earned $574.47 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $576.08 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.16 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Validus Holdings will post $4.00 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.84%. Validus Holdings’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.72%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VR. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Validus Holdings by 3.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,754,362 shares of the company’s stock valued at $279,604,000 after buying an additional 201,825 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its position in Validus Holdings by 16.8% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 4,352,930 shares of the company’s stock valued at $211,509,000 after buying an additional 626,711 shares in the last quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its position in Validus Holdings by 0.4% in the second quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 3,408,643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,626,000 after buying an additional 14,743 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Validus Holdings by 6.7% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,082,180 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,166,000 after buying an additional 129,879 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Validus Holdings by 4.4% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,856,643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,214,000 after buying an additional 78,064 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.61% of the company’s stock.

About Validus Holdings

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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