Validus Holdings Inc. (VR): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

Validus Holdings ( VR) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.2%. By the end of trading, Validus Holdings rose 17 cents (0.6%) to $31.26 on average volume. Throughout the day, 876,203 shares of Validus Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 938,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.10-$31.55 after having opened the day at $31.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.09. Another company within the Insurance industry that increased today was Eastern Insurance Holdings ( EIHI), up 3%.

Validus Holdings, Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance and insurance coverage in the property, marine, and specialty lines markets worldwide. Validus Holdings has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 10.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Validus Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Validus Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 10.3%, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), down 7.9%, Citizens ( CIA), down 6.3%, and Genworth Financial ( GNW), down 6%, were all losers within the insurance industry with Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) being today's insurance industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).
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