AXIS Capital Holdings Limited
) reported third quarter 2012 operating earnings of $1.63 per
share, substantially beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 62
cents and surging ahead of 74 cents earned in the year
ago-quarter. Operating income was $201 million in the quarter,
soaring nearly 112% over the prior-year quarter.
The quarter experienced low level of catastrophe and large loss
activity as well as favorable impact of strong equity markets on
investment returns with the bottom line being buoyed by share
Including net realized investment gains of $46.2 million, or 38
cents per share and foreign exchange loss of $23.6 million, or 19
cents per share, the company reported net income of $223 million,
or $1.82 per share. This compares favorably with $212.1 million
or $1.66 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The year-ago quarter included net realized investment gains of
$56.6 million or 44 cents per share and foreign exchange gains of
$60.7 million or 48 cents per share.
Gross premiums written in the quarter decreased 2% year over year
to $848 million.
Net premiums earned in the reported quarter were $862 million, up
3.7% year over year.
Net investment income more than doubled year over year to $103.6
million, largely driven by alternative investments.
Total revenue grossed $1.02 billion in the quarter, improving
7.4% from the year-ago quarter. The top line comfortably
surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $930 million.
Total expenses in the quarter were $775.5 million, escalating
7.3% year over year, largely due to higher acquisition cost and
general and administrative expenses.
Underwriting profit of $337 million in the quarter reversed the
loss of $342 million in the year-ago quarter. The combined ratio
improved 2550 basis points to 90.8% in the quarter.
: Gross premiums in the quarter under review improved 7% year
over year to $530 million, driven largely by better performances
at liability, professional lines and accident & health line
of business. However, it was partially offset by lower property
Net premiums earned augmented 8% year over year to $398 million
on the back of improving accident & health and property
The third quarter booked underwriting income of $76 million,
surging 85% from the year-ago quarter.
The combined ratio for the quarter improved 830 basis points to
: Gross premiums written in the quarter declined 7% year over
year to $318 million, largely due to lower business from
catastrophe and property lines of business.
Net premiums earned waned 1.1% in the quarter.
The segment had an underwriting profit of $79 million in the
quarter, soaring 58% year over year.
The combined ratio improved 640 basis points to 83.1% in the
AXIS Capital exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of
$0.869 billion, declining from $1.08 billion reported at the end
Total capitalization as of June 30, 2012, was $6.9 billion,
including $1.0 billion of long-term debt and $0.5 billion of
Book value per share was $43.57 as of September 30, 2012, up 18%
year over year.
Return on equity was 15.2% in the quarter compared with 7.8% in
the year-ago quarter.
Net cash flows from operations were $424 million for the quarter.
Share Repurchase and Dividend
During the third quarter, AXIS Capital spent $179 million to buy
back 5.2 million shares at an average price of $43.57 per share.
On October 31, 2012, the company had approximately $236 million
remaining under its authorization for common share repurchases
through December 31, 2012.
The Board declared a dividend of 24 cents in the quarter,
illustrating a year-over-year increase of 4.3%.
), which competes with AXIS Capital, reported third quarter
operating income of $2.01 per share, breezing past the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 15 cents. Earnings however, declined 9%
from $2.20 earned in the year-ago quarter.
The results were substantially affected by drought conditions in
the U.S. that hampered the company's crop business. Nevertheless,
ACE Limited delivered sturdy underwriting results.
The quantitative Zacks #1 Rank (short-term Strong Buy rating) for
the company indicates an upward boost on the shares over the near
ACE LIMITED (ACE): Free Stock Analysis Report
AXIS CAP HLDGS (AXS): Free Stock Analysis
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