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

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (NYSE:AXSGet Rating) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,210,000 shares, a decrease of 19.9% from the April 15th total of 1,510,000 shares. Approximately 1.6% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 637,700 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.9 days.

NYSE AXS traded down $1.78 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $56.59. The stock had a trading volume of 475,520 shares, compared to its average volume of 620,963. AXIS Capital has a 52-week low of $44.49 and a 52-week high of $61.39. The company has a market cap of $4.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.92, a P/E/G ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $56.86 and a 200 day simple moving average of $55.04. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31.

AXIS Capital (NYSE:AXSGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 27th. The insurance provider reported $2.09 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.35. AXIS Capital had a return on equity of 11.84% and a net margin of 12.09%. The firm had revenue of $1.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.92 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.97 EPS. AXIS Capital’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that AXIS Capital will post 6.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 30th will be paid a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 29th. AXIS Capital’s payout ratio is currently 23.92%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Gabelli Funds LLC increased its stake in AXIS Capital by 1.4% in the 1st quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 21,900 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,324,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC purchased a new position in AXIS Capital during the first quarter worth $290,000. Quantbot Technologies LP increased its position in AXIS Capital by 74.8% during the first quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 22,313 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,349,000 after buying an additional 9,546 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in AXIS Capital by 9.4% during the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 348,526 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $21,075,000 after buying an additional 30,005 shares in the last quarter. Finally, PDT Partners LLC purchased a new position in AXIS Capital during the first quarter worth $1,196,000. 93.67% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Separately, StockNews.com downgraded AXIS Capital from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 6th. Four investment 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 company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $62.00.

About AXIS Capital (Get Rating)

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, provides various specialty 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 onshore energy installations; marine insurance products covering offshore energy, cargo, liability, recreational marine, fine art, specie, and hull war; and terrorism, aviation, credit and political risk, and liability insurance products.

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