AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXS) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXSGet Rating) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,540,000 shares, an increase of 33.9% from the March 15th total of 1,150,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 568,200 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.7 days. Currently, 2.0% of the company’s shares are sold short.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AXS. Scout Investments Inc. bought a new stake in shares of AXIS Capital in the 1st quarter worth about $56,866,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of AXIS Capital in the 1st quarter worth about $2,411,000. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of AXIS Capital in the 1st quarter worth about $1,766,000. Diversified Trust Co increased its position in shares of AXIS Capital by 94.0% in the 1st quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 8,441 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $510,000 after purchasing an additional 4,090 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Hawaiian Bank increased its position in shares of AXIS Capital by 7.0% in the 1st quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 21,481 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,299,000 after purchasing an additional 1,407 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.75% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on AXS. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AXIS Capital from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $66.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 17th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of AXIS Capital from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, January 14th. StockNews.com lowered shares of AXIS Capital from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of AXIS Capital from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $54.00 to $57.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 4th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, AXIS Capital has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.80.

Shares of AXS stock opened at $56.57 on Monday. AXIS Capital has a 12 month low of $44.49 and a 12 month high of $61.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.55 and a quick ratio of 0.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.20, a P/E/G ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.92. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $56.08 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $54.06.

AXIS Capital (NYSE:AXSGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 26th. The insurance provider reported $2.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.78. AXIS Capital had a net margin of 11.62% and a return on equity of 9.77%. The firm had revenue of $947.41 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $922.43 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.20) EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 20.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that AXIS Capital will post 5.43 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 18th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 31st will be issued a $0.43 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 30th. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.04%. This is a positive change from AXIS Capital’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. AXIS Capital’s payout ratio is currently 24.93%.

About AXIS Capital (Get Rating)

AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. engages in the provision of various insurance and reinsurance products and services. It operates through the Insurance and Reinsurance segments. The Insurance segment offers property, marine, terrorism, aviation, political risk, professional lines, liability, and accident, and health insurance products.

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