Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of The Navigators Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NAVG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday 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. “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Sidoti assumed coverage on shares of The Navigators Group in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. They set a neutral rating and a $58.00 target price on the stock. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a hold rating on shares of The Navigators Group in a research report on Friday, August 4th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of The Navigators Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of The Navigators Group in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $59.33.

The Navigators Group (NASDAQ NAVG) traded up 1.11% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $59.05. The stock had a trading volume of 6,500 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $56.95 and its 200-day moving average price is $54.80. The company has a market cap of $1.74 billion, a PE ratio of 20.87 and a beta of 0.79. The Navigators Group has a 52 week low of $45.38 and a 52 week high of $62.04.

The Navigators Group (NASDAQ:NAVG) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The insurance provider reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.08. The Navigators Group had a net margin of 6.86% and a return on equity of 6.53%. 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 business earned $0.54 earnings per share. The Navigators Group’s quarterly revenue was up 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that The Navigators Group will post $2.46 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders 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 dividend yield of 0.41%. The Navigators Group’s payout ratio is 8.48%.

In other The Navigators Group news, Director Patricia H. Roberts acquired 1,355 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 18th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $55.29 per share, for a total transaction of $74,917.95. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 3,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $218,450.79. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP R Scott Eisdorfer sold 10,985 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.33, for a total transaction of $618,785.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 20,000 shares of company stock worth $1,123,880 over the last quarter. 24.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NAVG. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in 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 period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in The Navigators Group by 99.7% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,458,404 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $133,491,000 after buying an additional 1,227,194 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in The Navigators Group by 113.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,162,874 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $117,444,000 after buying an additional 1,149,369 shares during the period. Champlain Investment Partners LLC lifted its holdings in The Navigators Group by 129.7% in the first quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 1,069,640 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $58,081,000 after buying an additional 603,990 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp lifted its holdings in The Navigators Group by 111.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 544,910 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $29,586,000 after buying an additional 286,756 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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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