Bermuda-based Axis Capital has increased its common dividend for the eleventh consecutive year.
The board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.29 per common share, which represents an increase of 7.4 percent.
Axis Capital has also authorised the repurchase of up to $750 million of the company’s common shares.
The board has authorised the company to effect repurchases under this new plan in open market or privately negotiated transactions through December 31, 2016, depending on market conditions.
This new repurchase authorisation, effective January 1, 2015, will replace the existing authorisation, which currently has approximately $268 million in remaining authorisation available through December 31, 2015.
Albert Benchimol, president and chief executive officer of AXIS Capital, said: “AXIS Capital has a long track record of executing on a capital management strategy that benefits all of our stakeholders. This 7.4 percent increase in our common dividend represents the eleventh consecutive annual dividend increase since we declared our first dividend following our initial public offering in 2003.
“Another important tool in capital management is the return of capital through share repurchases. Over the eleven years since our IPO, AXIS Capital has repurchased approximately 92 million shares in open market or private transactions for a total of $3.2 billion. So far in 2014, we have already purchased 10.5 million shares at a total cost of $482 million, out of the $750 million authorisation granted last December. This increase in dividend and new share repurchase authorisation enhance our capacity to return capital to our shareholders into 2015.”
Axis Capital, Bermuda, Albert Benchimol