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AXIS Capital (AXS) Q3 Earnings Top Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited AXS posted third-quarter 2021 operating income of 1 cent per share in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 69 cents. The bottom line rebounded from the year-ago loss of 77 cents.  

The company’s results reflected higher gross premiums written as well as an increase in net investment income and lower expenses.

Axis Capital Holdings Limited Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Quarterly Operational Update

Operating revenues of $1.3 billion increased 10.5% year over year. Gross premiums written rose 24% year over year to about $1.6 billion, largely driven by a 26% increase in the Insurance segment and a 19% increase in the Reinsurance segment.

Net investment income of $107 million increased 4.9% year over year, primarily driven by positive returns from other investments in 2021.

Total expenses decreased 2.9% year over year to $1.3 billion, attributable to foreign exchange losses and the absence of reorganization expenses in the reported quarter.

Pre-tax catastrophe and weather-related losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, were $250 million, wider than the year-ago loss of $240 million, primarily attributable to Hurricane Ida, July European floods, and other weather-related events.

AXIS Capital’s underwriting loss of $58.8. million narrowed from $135.3 million loss incurred in the year-ago quarter. Nonetheless, the combined ratio improved 710 basis points (bps) to 107.4.

Segment Results

Insurance: Gross premiums written improved 25.7% year over year to $1.2 billion, primarily attributable to increases in professional lines, liability, and property lines driven by new business and favorable rate changes.

Net premiums earned increased 19.4% year over year to $681 million.

Underwriting income of $10.4 million rebounded from the year-ago loss of $81.5 million. The combined ratio improved 1590 bps to 84.5.

Reinsurance: Gross premiums written increased 18.9% year over year to $470 billion, driven by increases in liability, accident and health, and catastrophe lines, partially offset by a decrease in property lines.

Net premiums earned increased 1.8% year over year to $530.4 million.

Underwriting loss of $69.2 million was wider than the year-ago loss of $53.6 million. The combined ratio deteriorated 390 bps year over year to 114.4

Financial Update

AXIS Capital exited the third quarter with cash and cash equivalents of nearly $947.5 million, up about 5% over the level at 2020 end.

Debts were $1.3 billion at quarter-end, up 0.05% from the 2020-end level.

Book value per share decreased 1.2% year over year to $54.86 as of Sep 30, 2021.

Annualized operating return on average common equity was 0.1% in the third quarter, comparing favorably with (5.5%) in the year-ago quarter.

Dividend Update

The company announced a dividend of 42 cents per share in the reported quarter.

Zacks Rank

AXIS Capital currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Some Other Insurers

Among other insurance industry players, which have reported third-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line of RLI Corp. RLI and The Travelers Companies, Inc. TRV beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while that of The Progressive Corporation PGR missed estimates.

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