Axis Capital Holdings Ltd (AXS): Today's Featured Insurance Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS) pushed the Insurance industry lower today making it today's featured Insurance laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Axis Capital Holdings fell $0.92 (-2.0%) to $44.58 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,409,087 shares of Axis Capital Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 829,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.53-$45.71 after having opened the day at $45.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.50. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 3.0%, Montpelier RE Holdings ( MRH), down 2.9%, CNinsure ( CISG), down 2.7% and Endurance Specialty Holdings ( ENH), down 2.0%.
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AXIS Capital Holdings Limited provides specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. Axis Capital Holdings has a market cap of $5.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Axis Capital Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Axis Capital Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, Donegal Group ( DGICB), down 7.2%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), down 5.6%, Aegon ( AEG), down 4.8% and Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), down 4.3% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) being today's featured insurance industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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