Wells Fargo & Co Upgrades Axis Capital (AXS) to “Market Perform”

Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a report published on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Buckingham Research began coverage on Axis Capital in a research report on Monday, September 11th. They issued a neutral rating and a $58.00 price target for the company. Citigroup raised Axis Capital from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $59.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 11th. UBS Group reduced their target price on Axis Capital from $57.00 to $55.00 and set a sell rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Axis Capital from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Axis Capital from a b- rating to a c rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $61.45.

Axis Capital (AXS) traded down $0.02 on Tuesday, hitting $49.11. The stock had a trading volume of 968,856 shares, compared to its average volume of 849,518. The company has a market cap of $4,080.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -16.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. Axis Capital has a 52-week low of $48.00 and a 52-week high of $71.06.

Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The insurance provider reported ($5.35) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($5.34) by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $1.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate 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 period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.78 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Axis Capital will post -2.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. This is a positive change from Axis Capital’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.18%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. Axis Capital’s dividend payout ratio is currently -50.81%.

In related news, EVP Conrad D. Brooks sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.31, for a total transaction of $392,325.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $315,272.37. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.89% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AXS. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Axis Capital by 62.0% in the second quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 2,559 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $165,000 after purchasing an additional 979 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new position in shares of Axis Capital in the second quarter valued at about $203,000. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its holdings in shares of Axis Capital by 237.6% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 3,572 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $205,000 after purchasing an additional 2,514 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in shares of Axis Capital in the second quarter valued at about $207,000. Finally, Magnetar Financial LLC acquired a new position in shares of Axis Capital in the third quarter valued at about $224,000. 87.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Axis Capital

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS)

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