Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday morning.
According to Zacks, “AXIS Capital continues to build on its Specialty Insurance, Reinsurance, Accident and Health to pave way for long-term growth. The company remains focused on deploying resources prudently while enhancing efficiencies at the same time. Also, the insurer has been improving its portfolio mix and underwriting profitability apart from strengthening the casualty and professional lines in the insurance segment. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive with strategic buyouts. However, exposure to catastrophe loss has been denting the insurer’s underwriting results and dragging the bottom line. Also, stiff competition in the reinsurance industry and escalating expenses restrict margin expansion. Shares of AXIS Capital have lagged the industry in a year’s time. With respect to quarterly results, AXIS Capital’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also declined year over year mainly due to cat loss.”
A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank reduced their price objective on Axis Capital from $55.00 to $54.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a hold rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Axis Capital in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. UBS Group upgraded Axis Capital from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Axis Capital from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Axis Capital presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $60.22.
Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The insurance provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by ($0.01). Axis Capital had a negative return on equity of 4.48% and a negative net margin of 8.04%. The firm had revenue of $729.42 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $549.41 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.14 EPS. Axis Capital’s revenue was up 57.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Axis Capital will post 4.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 29th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.83%. Axis Capital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -31.20%.
In related news, Director Charles A. Davis bought 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $49.90 per share, for a total transaction of $1,247,500.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 34,063 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,699,743.70. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.89% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Axis Capital by 40.0% during the 4th quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 5,600 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $281,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the period. Jane Street Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Axis Capital during the 4th quarter worth approximately $862,000. LPL Financial LLC lifted its position in shares of Axis Capital by 442.4% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 31,850 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,601,000 after buying an additional 25,978 shares during the period. Crestline Management LP lifted its position in shares of Axis Capital by 210.7% during the 4th quarter. Crestline Management LP now owns 38,111 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,915,000 after buying an additional 25,843 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Axis Capital by 420.6% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 642,759 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $32,305,000 after buying an additional 519,283 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.16% of the company’s stock.
About Axis Capital
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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