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AXIS Capital (AXS) Estimates Q1 Cat Loss of $95M to $105M

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AXIS Capital Holdings Limited AXS estimates first-quarter 2021 catastrophe loss of $105-$115 million pre-tax or $95-$105 million post-tax.

The pre-tax net loss estimate includes $80 million to $90 million stemming from Winter Storms Uri and Viola, principally in Texas. The company noted industry losses from the event in the range of $13 billion to $14 billion. Per reports in Reinsurance News, catastrophe risk modeller AIR Worldwide estimates industry loss of more than $10 billion from Winter Storms Uri and Viola.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AXIS Capital’s first-quarter earnings is currently pegged at 81 cents, indicating an improvement of 141.8% from the year-ago reported figure. We expect estimates to move south once analysts start incorporating loss estimates into their numbers.

Being a property and casualty insurer, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) insurer has substantial exposure to losses from natural disasters, man-made catastrophes and other catastrophic events, which have been inducing volatility in its underwriting results. In 2020, catastrophe and weather-related losses, net of reinstatement premiums, amounted to $774 million primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Laura, Sally, Zeta and Delta, the Midwest derecho, wildfires across the West Coast of the United States, and other weather-related events. Underwriting loss was $325.5 million against the year-ago profit of $28.5 million resulting in 700 bps deterioration in combined ratio.

Nonetheless, AXIS Capital noted sustained improvements in its current accident year loss ratios excluding catastrophe and weather-related losses in its Insurance and Reinsurance segments, in-line with the progress made last year.

Shares of AXIS Capital have rallied 33.6% year-to-date, outperforming the industry’s increase of 32.2%.

Last week, State Auto Financial Corporation STFC estimated catastrophe losses in the range of $80 million to $82 million for the first quarter of 2021. Of this, $66 million is attributable to Winter Storms Uri and Viola.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Kinsale Capital Group KNSL and First American Financial FAF.

Kinsale Capital delivered an earnings surprise of 48.05% in the last reported quarter. It sports Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

First American Financial delivered an earnings surprise of 29.45% in the last reported quarter. It carries Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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