AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) Interest Update
AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE: AXS – Get a rating) benefited from a significant increase in short-term interest rates in September. As of September 30, there was short interest totaling 1,400,000 shares, an increase of 29.6% from the total of 1,080,000 shares as of September 15. Currently, 1.8% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 428,700 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 3.3 days.
Changes to analyst ratings
AXS has been the subject of several analyst reports. StockNews.com downgraded AXIS Capital from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a Monday, October 10 research note. TheStreet downgraded AXIS Capital from a ‘b’ rating to a ‘c+’ rating in a Tuesday, July 26 report. Morgan Stanley cut its price target on AXIS Capital from $63.00 to $61.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a Friday, August 19 report. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group cut its price target on AXIS Capital from $70.00 to $66.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a Tuesday, July 12 report. Three research analysts rated the stock with a hold rating and one gave the company’s stock a buy rating. Based on MarketBeat data, AXIS Capital currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.33.
AXIS share capital up 1.5%
AXS was up $0.75 during Monday’s trading, hitting $50.74. The stock had a trading volume of 422,603 shares, compared to an average volume of 520,336. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $52.55 and its two-hundred-day moving average is 54, $73. The company has a current ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt ratio of 0.36. The company has a market capitalization of $4.30 billion, a price/earnings ratio of 10.44, a P/E/G ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.72. AXIS Capital has a 1-year low of $48.32 and a 1-year high of $61.39.
AXIS Capital (NYSE:AXS- Get a rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26. The insurance provider reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.74 for the quarter, beating analyst consensus estimates of $1.54 by $0.20. The company posted revenue of $1.37 billion in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $1.30 billion. AXIS Capital achieved a return on equity of 11.81% and a net margin of 8.55%. In the same quarter of the previous year, the company had earned earnings per share of $2.00. As a group, analysts expect AXIS Capital to post earnings per share of 4.59 for the current year.
AXIS Capital announces a dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 18. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 3 will receive a dividend of $0.43. The ex-date of this dividend is Friday, September 30. This represents a dividend of $1.72 on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.39%. AXIS Capital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.54%.
Hedge funds weigh on AXIS Capital
A number of institutional investors have recently increased or reduced their stake in the company. Scout Investments Inc. bought a new stock position of AXIS Capital during the first quarter at a value of $56,866,000. Berkley WR Corp bought a new stock position in AXIS Capital during the second quarter worth $49,259,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings of AXIS Capital shares by 13.8% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,146,707 shares of the insurance provider valued at $190,280,000 after acquiring 381,511 additional shares in the last quarter. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC increased its holdings of AXIS Capital shares by 24.4% during the second quarter. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC now owns 1,716,687 shares of the insurance provider valued at $98,004,000 after acquiring an additional 336,679 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its equity stake in AXIS Capital by 12.9% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,776,823 shares of the insurance provider valued at $167,914,000 after acquiring 317,806 additional shares last quarter. Institutional investors hold 91.70% of the company’s shares.
About AXIS Capital
AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, offers a variety of specialist 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 land energy facilities; marine insurance products covering offshore energy, freight, liability, recreational marine, fine art, cash and hull warfare; and terrorism, aviation, credit and political risk and liability insurance products.
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