Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of AXIS Capital have outperformed the Zacks categorized Property and Casualty (P&C) industry, in the last one year. Estimates has also been moving north over the last 60 days. It 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.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on AXS. MKM Partners raised Axis Capital Holdings Limited from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co lowered Axis Capital Holdings Limited from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Monday, January 9th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $64.00 target price (down previously from $66.00) on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a research report on Wednesday, March 15th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $67.00 target price (up previously from $64.00) on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a research report on Friday, February 3rd. Finally, Citigroup Inc began coverage on Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. They issued a “sell” rating and a $55.00 target price for the company. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Axis Capital Holdings Limited presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $65.71.

Analyst Recommendations for Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS)

Shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) opened at 67.47 on Friday. Axis Capital Holdings Limited has a 52 week low of $51.01 and a 52 week high of $71.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.28 and a beta of 0.55. The company has a 50-day moving average of $67.98 and a 200-day moving average of $62.00.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 1st. The company reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.27. Axis Capital Holdings Limited had a return on equity of 8.36% and a net margin of 12.82%. The business earned $464.39 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $602.70 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.23 EPS. Axis Capital Holdings Limited’s revenue was down 22.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Axis Capital Holdings Limited will post $4.52 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 17th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 31st will be given a dividend of $0.38 per share. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.25%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 29th. Axis Capital Holdings Limited’s payout ratio is currently 29.57%.

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In other news, Director Michael A. Butt sold 158,946 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.38, for a total transaction of $10,391,889.48. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 999,982 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $65,378,823.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AXS. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC raised its stake in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 40.7% in the fourth quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC now owns 1,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 550 shares during the last quarter. Compagnie Lombard Odier SCmA acquired a new stake in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited during the third quarter worth about $109,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 62.5% in the third quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. raised its stake in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 48.4% in the third quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,994 shares of the company’s stock worth $163,000 after buying an additional 977 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA acquired a new stake in shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited during the third quarter worth about $203,000. 90.07% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited Company Profile

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited is a holding company for the AXIS group of companies. The Company provides a range of specialty (re)insurance, through subsidiaries and branch networks- based in Bermuda, the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Singapore. It operates in two segments: AXIS Insurance and AXIS Re.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AXS

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