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 0.9%. By the end of trading, Axis Capital Holdings fell $0.75 (-1.7%) to $43.25 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,285,262 shares of Axis Capital Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 846,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $43.00-$44.62 after having opened the day at $44.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.00. Other companies within the Insurance industry that declined today were: MBIA ( MBI), down 3.0%, Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), down 2.6%, First American Financial ( FAF), down 2.2% and Erie Indemnity Company ( ERIE), 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 $5.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, ING US ( VOYA), down 7.9%, MGIC Investment Corporation ( MTG), down 7.1%, Horace Mann Educators ( HMN), down 4.6% and Homeowners Choice ( HCI), down 4.3% , were all gainers within the insurance industry with Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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