Validus Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:VR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

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. “

Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Validus Holdings in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $55.00 target price on the stock.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) traded up 0.04% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $51.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 19,792 shares. Validus Holdings has a 12 month low of $41.73 and a 12 month high of $52.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.16 billion, a PE ratio of 11.02 and a beta of 0.59. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $50.44 and its 200-day moving average is $48.49.

Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. The business had revenue of $574.47 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $576.08 million. Validus Holdings had a return on equity of 8.93% and a net margin of 16.72%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.16 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Validus Holdings will post $4.04 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.71%. Validus Holdings’s payout ratio is 29.72%.

In other Validus Holdings news, Director Jeffrey W. Greenberg sold 54,872 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.47, for a total value of $2,714,517.84. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $149,745.69. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Michael E.A. Carpenter sold 9,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.60, for a total value of $461,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 281,733 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,973,956.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.19% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. M&R Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at about $104,000. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at $200,000. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at $228,000. Pacad Investment Ltd. purchased a new position in Validus Holdings during the first quarter valued at $227,000. Finally, Clinton Group Inc. purchased a new position in Validus Holdings during the second quarter valued at $234,000. 93.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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