Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) was the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,494,676 shares, an increase of 44.4% from the August 31st total of 1,035,157 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,052,187 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.4 days. Approximately 1.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS) opened at 56.11 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $4.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.38 and a beta of 0.59. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $58.51 and its 200-day moving average is $63.45. Axis Capital Holdings Limited has a one year low of $52.15 and a one year high of $71.06.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The insurance provider reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $956.02 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $989.95 million. Axis Capital Holdings Limited had a return on equity of 9.17% and a net margin of 10.81%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.51 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Axis Capital Holdings Limited will post $0.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. This is an increase from Axis Capital Holdings Limited’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.71%. Axis Capital Holdings Limited’s payout ratio is presently 33.70%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its stake in Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 2.9% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 8,111 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $524,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC raised its stake in Axis Capital Holdings Limited by 78.1% during the second quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 11,262 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $728,000 after acquiring an additional 4,939 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited during the second quarter worth about $464,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited during the second quarter worth about $207,000. Finally, Caxton Associates LP acquired a new position in Axis Capital Holdings Limited during the second quarter worth about $644,000. 86.23% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a report on Monday, September 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $58.00 target price on the stock. UBS AG lowered their target price on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited from $57.00 to $55.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited from $60.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Axis Capital Holdings Limited in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $63.78.

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Axis Capital Holdings Limited 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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