UPDATE: Nomura Lowers PT on Axis Capital Following Solid 2Q13 Earnings
In a report published Wednesday, Nomura analyst Clifford Gallant reiterated a Neutral rating on Axis Capital (NYSE: AXS), but lowered the price target from $47.00 to $46.00.
In the report, Nomura noted, “Given a tough quarter, AXS's 2Q13 earnings were solid and premium growth was impressive. In addition, buyback exceeded expectations. We expect that the major investor concern will be the slowdown of reserve releases, although some one-time clean-up action may be the cause. We regard AXS as relatively well-positioned with strong and diverse global businesses, but we also believe the pressures on the business are growing. We are raising our 2013 EPS estimate to reflect the 2Q13 result. We maintain 2014 estimate, as we offset the benefit of higher buyback with a slightly higher loss pick and lower reserve release. We are also trimming our price target to $46 from $47, approximately forward book value As we are for most of our coverage group, our 2014 EPS estimate is below Street consensus and we remain Neutral on the shares.”
Axis Capital closed on Tuesday at $45.33.
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