Axis Capital (AXS) Raised to “Buy” at UBS Group

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UBS Group upgraded shares of Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, Benzinga reports. UBS Group currently has $67.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of $59.00.

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on AXS. ValuEngine raised Axis Capital from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday. TheStreet raised Axis Capital from a c rating to a b- rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley set a $62.00 price objective on Axis Capital and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised Axis Capital from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and raised their price objective for the company from $61.00 to $67.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Axis Capital from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $62.57.

Shares of AXS stock opened at $60.39 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.43. Axis Capital has a fifty-two week low of $48.27 and a fifty-two week high of $60.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 0.58.

Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The insurance provider reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.16). The business had revenue of $1.78 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. Axis Capital had a net margin of 1.54% and a return on equity of 3.95%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.46 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Axis Capital will post 4.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Investors of record on Friday, June 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 27th. Axis Capital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 83.33%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cresset Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Axis Capital during the 1st quarter valued at $27,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. boosted its holdings in shares of Axis Capital by 120.8% during the 4th quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 530 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after acquiring an additional 290 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Axis Capital during the 1st quarter valued at $37,000. Icon Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Axis Capital during the 1st quarter valued at $38,000. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in Axis Capital by 439.3% during the 1st quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,486 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $136,000 after purchasing an additional 2,025 shares during the last quarter. 77.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Axis Capital

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, provides various specialty insurance and reinsurance products worldwide. It operates through two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. The Insurance segment offers property insurance products for commercial buildings, residential premises, construction projects, and onshore energy installations; marine insurance products covering offshore energy, cargo, liability, recreational marine, fine art, specie, hull, and war; and terrorism, aviation, credit and political risk, and liability insurance products.

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