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JimVanMeerten (61.35)

Axis Capital Holdings beats Zack's EPS estimates

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February 23, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: AXS

Today's stock pick was found like I always do by using Barchart to screen for the stocks having the most consistent price appreciation recently. Today's stock Axis Capital Holdings (AXS) is just such a stock. It has had price appreciation in 12 of the last 20 sessions and is 5 for 5 recently. In the last month it has enjoyed a 10.71 increase in price and has an 80% Barchart buy receiving a buy signal on 11 of Barchart's 13 technical indicators.

Axis has usually got a bad connotation like in the Axis Powers in WW2 or the Axis of Evil but don't be scared off by the name. This Axis is a Bermuda-based global provider of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance. They offer both insurance and reinsurance for all kinds of property and causality risk as well as a little bit of health insurance. What caught my eye was that they also insure for terrorism and political risks. Many of the companies that would like to invest in politically unstable areas of the globe will be their best customers.

Part of the recent price increase has been that they recently beat the Zack's earnings consensus of 1.31 by turning in an EPS of 1.83. Nice earnings surprise to the upside. Sales are expected to increase by 2.6% but in the last 30 days 3 analysts have upped their new EPS projections. They expect a 5 year compounded EPS growth of 17.1%. That would be nice for my portfolio.

Those same analysts give the stock 7 buy recommendations followed by 4 holds with no under perform or sell ratings.

To gauge investor sentiment I went over to Motley Fool where the CAPS members feel the stock will out perform the market by a vote of 113 to 8 with the All Stars in agreement 50 to 4. The Wall Street columnists Fool follows also agree 9 to 0.

What's to like:
1 - Positive price momentum in better than 50% of the recent trading sessions

 2 - Fundamental analysts have increasing sale and earnings projections

3 -  Investor sentiment is very high.

The stock is presently selling for around 31.50 and a stop loss is recommended at the 50 day moving average of 29.

Jim Van Meerten is an investor who writes on financial matters here and on Financial Tides. Please leave a comment below or email JimVanMeerten@gmail.com

Disclosure: no positions at the time of publication

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