Axis Capital (AXS) Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of AXIS Capital have underperformed the industry, year to date. Also, stiff competition in the reinsurance industry along with escalating expenses are concerns. Nonetheless, AXIS Capital continues to build on its Specialty Insurance, Reinsurance, Accident and Health to pave way for long-term growth. It remains focused on deploying resources prudently, while enhancing efficiencies. It has also 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.”

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on AXS. MKM Partners lowered their price objective on shares of Axis Capital from $80.00 to $70.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Bank of America lowered their price objective on shares of Axis Capital from $73.00 to $67.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 13th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Axis Capital from a b- rating to a c rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on shares of Axis Capital from $70.00 to $61.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Axis Capital from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $61.45.

Shares of Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) opened at $50.21 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.51. The company has a market cap of $4,190.00, a P/E ratio of -16.36 and a beta of 0.58. Axis Capital has a fifty-two week low of $49.42 and a fifty-two week high of $71.06.

Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The insurance provider reported ($5.35) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($5.34) by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $1.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $972.10 million. Axis Capital had a negative return on equity of 2.59% and a negative net margin of 4.55%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.78 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Axis Capital will post -2.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. This is a boost from Axis Capital’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.11%. Axis Capital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -49.51%.

In related news, EVP Conrad D. Brooks sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.31, for a total value of $392,325.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $315,272.37. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.89% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Axis Capital by 62.0% during the second quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 2,559 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $165,000 after purchasing an additional 979 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new position in Axis Capital during the second quarter worth $203,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new position in Axis Capital during the second quarter worth $207,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its position in Axis Capital by 237.6% during the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 3,572 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $205,000 after purchasing an additional 2,514 shares during the period. Finally, Magnetar Financial LLC bought a new position in Axis Capital during the third quarter worth $224,000. 87.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Axis Capital Company Profile

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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