Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of AXIS Capital have underperformed the industry, year to date. Also, stiff competition in the reinsurance industry along with escalating expenses are concerns. Nonetheless, AXIS Capital continues to build on its Specialty Insurance, Reinsurance, Accident and Health to pave way for long-term growth. It remains focused on deploying resources prudently, while enhancing efficiencies. It has also been improving its portfolio mix and underwriting profitability apart from strengthening the casualty and professional lines in the insurance segment. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive with strategic buyouts.”

AXS has been the topic of a number of other reports. Bank of America reduced their target price on shares of Axis Capital from $73.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 13th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Axis Capital from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of Axis Capital from $70.00 to $61.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Citigroup reduced their target price on shares of Axis Capital from $59.00 to $58.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Axis Capital from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Axis Capital has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.45.

Axis Capital (AXS) traded up $0.58 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $50.40. 450,986 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 566,935. The stock has a market cap of $4,190.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -16.42 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.51. Axis Capital has a 52 week low of $49.42 and a 52 week high of $71.06.

Axis Capital (NYSE:AXS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The insurance provider reported ($5.35) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($5.34) by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $1.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $972.10 million. Axis Capital had a negative net margin of 4.55% and a negative return on equity of 2.59%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.78 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Axis Capital will post -2.21 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Conrad D. Brooks sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The shares were 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 in the company, valued at approximately $315,272.37. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.89% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Belpointe Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Axis Capital during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,513,000. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Axis Capital by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 333,652 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $19,122,000 after acquiring an additional 13,407 shares during the period. Crestline Management LP purchased a new position in shares of Axis Capital during the 3rd quarter worth about $703,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. lifted its holdings in shares of Axis Capital by 206.9% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 75,921 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,351,000 after acquiring an additional 51,180 shares during the period. Finally, Accident Compensation Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Axis Capital by 150.8% during the 3rd quarter. Accident Compensation Corp now owns 43,479 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,492,000 after acquiring an additional 26,141 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.33% of the company’s stock.

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Axis Capital 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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