Validus Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VR) was upgraded by stock analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

Several other research firms have also weighed in on VR. BidaskClub lowered shares of Validus Holdings from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Validus Holdings from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $55.00 price target on shares of Validus Holdings and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.00.

Shares of Validus Holdings (VR) traded down 0.52% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $49.89. The stock had a trading volume of 580,621 shares. The company has a market cap of $3.96 billion, a PE ratio of 13.76 and a beta of 0.64. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $52.52 and its 200-day moving average price is $54.20. Validus Holdings has a one year low of $48.77 and a one year high of $58.76.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The insurance provider reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.10. Validus Holdings had a net margin of 11.81% and a return on equity of 7.75%. The business had revenue of $675.27 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $922.84 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.66 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Validus Holdings will post $3.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Matthew J. Grayson sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.74, for a total transaction of $527,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 91,393 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,820,066.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Matthew J. Grayson sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.67, for a total transaction of $1,580,100.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 61,393 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,233,569.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 50,000 shares of company stock valued at $2,638,400 in the last ninety days. 2.33% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VR. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Validus Holdings by 3.6% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 600,865 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $33,882,000 after buying an additional 21,066 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 2,898.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,235,863 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $182,471,000 after buying an additional 3,127,947 shares during the period. Martingale Asset Management L P boosted its position in shares of Validus Holdings by 9.8% in the first quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 455,096 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $25,664,000 after buying an additional 40,595 shares during the period. Airain ltd acquired a new position in shares of Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at about $1,437,000. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired a new position in shares of Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at about $2,754,000. 94.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Validus Holdings Company Profile

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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