Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “AXIS Capital continues to build on its Specialty Insurance, Reinsurance, and Accident and Health to pave way for long-term growth. It remains focused on deploying resources prudently, enhancing efficiencies and better serving clients and brokers across the globe. It has also been improving its portfolio mix and underwriting profitability apart from strengthening the casualty and professional lines in the insurance segment. However, stiff competition in the reinsurance industry slowing growth and lowering profitability along with escalating expenses eating into margins remain concerns. Also, shares of AXIS Capital have underperformed the Zacks categorized Property and Casualty industry year to date. Yet, the company has been witnessing estimates moving north over the last 60 days. The company is set to report second results on Jul 26. However, Zacks Rank #3 when combined with Earnings ESP of -6.98% makes prediction difficult for beat or miss.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on AXS. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and set a $64.00 target price (down from $66.00) on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a research report on Wednesday, March 15th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited from $60.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Friday, April 7th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a hold rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $66.78.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS) traded up 0.13% on Wednesday, hitting $63.98. The stock had a trading volume of 172,223 shares. Axis Capital Holdings Limited has a 52-week low of $52.67 and a 52-week high of $71.06. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $64.49 and its 200 day moving average price is $66.02. The firm has a market cap of $5.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.28 and a beta of 0.60.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The insurance provider reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.22. The business had revenue of $1.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.69 billion. Axis Capital Holdings Limited had a net margin of 11.74% and a return on equity of 7.86%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Axis Capital Holdings Limited will post $3.93 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be paid a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.38%. Axis Capital Holdings Limited’s dividend payout ratio is currently 31.73%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AXS. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 3,740.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,741,122 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $451,855,000 after buying an additional 6,565,613 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 63.2% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 746,488 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $50,038,000 after buying an additional 289,144 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 27.4% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,091,883 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $73,189,000 after buying an additional 234,985 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 3.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,151,654 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $546,405,000 after buying an additional 234,043 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Credit Agricole S A increased its position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 293.8% in the first quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 177,558 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $11,901,000 after buying an additional 132,466 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.27% of the company’s stock.

About Axis Capital Holdings Limited

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited is a holding company. The Company provides a range of specialty (re)insurance, through subsidiaries and branch networks- based in Bermuda, the United States, Canada, Europe and Singapore. Its business consists of two global underwriting platforms: AXIS Insurance and AXIS Re.

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