Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of The Navigators Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NAVG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “The Navigators Group, Inc. is a holding company with twelve active wholly owned subsidiaries. They primarily write marine, onshore energy, engineering and construction insurance, and a contractors’ general liability program. As underwritten by Navigators, marine insurance includes hull, energy, liability and cargo; onshore energy primarily covers property damage with an emphasis on the oil and petrochemical sectors; and engineering and construction primarily covers construction projects including machinery, equipment and loss of use due to delays. “

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine cut The Navigators Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of The Navigators Group in a report on Thursday, September 21st. BidaskClub raised The Navigators Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Boenning Scattergood restated a hold rating on shares of The Navigators Group in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Finally, Sidoti began coverage on shares of The Navigators Group in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $58.00 target price on the stock. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $59.33.

The Navigators Group (NASDAQ:NAVG) opened at 60.05 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $56.18 and its 200-day moving average price is $54.49. The Navigators Group has a 52-week low of $45.38 and a 52-week high of $62.04. The firm has a market cap of $1.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.22 and a beta of 0.79.

The Navigators Group (NASDAQ:NAVG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The insurance provider reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.08. The Navigators Group had a return on equity of 6.53% and a net margin of 6.86%. The company had revenue of $293.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $297.82 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.54 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that The Navigators Group will post $2.59 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th were given a dividend of $0.06 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.40%. The Navigators Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 8.48%.

In other The Navigators Group news, Director Patricia H. Roberts bought 1,355 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 18th. The shares were bought at an average price of $55.29 per share, for a total transaction of $74,917.95. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 3,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $218,450.79. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP R Scott Eisdorfer sold 10,985 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.33, for a total value of $618,785.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 20,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,123,880 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 24.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in NAVG. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of The Navigators Group by 94,039.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,766,756 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $150,236,000 after buying an additional 2,763,817 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in The Navigators Group by 99.7% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,458,404 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $133,491,000 after buying an additional 1,227,194 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in The Navigators Group by 113.4% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,162,874 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $117,444,000 after acquiring an additional 1,149,369 shares during the last quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC grew its holdings in The Navigators Group by 129.7% during the 1st quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 1,069,640 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $58,081,000 after acquiring an additional 603,990 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp grew its holdings in The Navigators Group by 111.1% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 544,910 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $29,586,000 after acquiring an additional 286,756 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.91% of the company’s stock.

About The Navigators Group

The Navigators Group, Inc is an insurance holding company. The Company is an international insurance company focused on marine insurance. The Company’s segments include U.S. Insurance, International Insurance (Int’l Insurance), Global Reinsurance (GlobalRe) and Corporate. The Company’s Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance business primarily offers general liability coverage, and umbrella and excess liability coverage to commercial enterprises through its U.S.

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