AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) Short interest down 42.7% in May

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE: AXS – Get a rating) saw a significant decline in short-term interest in May. As of May 15, there was short interest totaling 693,200 shares, down 42.7% from the total of 1,210,000 shares as of April 30. Based on an average daily volume of 664,600 shares, the short-term interest rate ratio is currently 1.0 day. Approximately 0.9% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Separately, StockNews.com downgraded AXIS Capital shares from a “buy” to a “hold” rating in a Friday, May 6 research note. Four investment analysts have assigned the stock a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has assigned the stock a strong buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $62.00.

Hedge funds have recently changed their holdings in the company. US Bancorp DE increased its stake in AXIS Capital by 447.2% during the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 487 shares of the insurance provider worth $30,000 after buying 398 additional shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in AXIS Capital during the 1st quarter at a value of $33,000. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in AXIS Capital during Q1 valued at $93,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. acquired a new stake in AXIS Capital during Q1 valued at $135,000. Finally, Outfitter Financial LLC acquired a new stake in AXIS Capital during the 4th quarter for a value of $155,000. 93.67% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of AXS traded at $0.94 at midday on Friday, hitting $58.76. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 303,141 shares, compared to an average volume of 601,200. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $57.37 and its 200-day simple moving average is 55 $.24. AXIS Capital has a 12-month low of $44.49 and a 12-month high of $61.39. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.59 and a debt ratio of 0.31. The company has a market capitalization of $5.01 billion, a PE ratio of 8.17, a growth price-earnings ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.90.

AXIS Capital (NYSE:AXS- Get a rating) last reported results on Wednesday, April 27. The insurance provider reported EPS of $2.09 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $1.74 by $0.35. AXIS Capital posted a net margin of 12.09% and a return on equity of 11.84%. The company posted revenue of $1.81 billion for the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $1.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted EPS of $0.97. The company’s revenue for the quarter increased by 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect AXIS Capital to post EPS of 6.18 for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 30 will receive a dividend of $0.43. This represents a dividend of $1.72 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 29. AXIS Capital’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.92%.

About AXIS Capital (Get a rating)

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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