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* Q1 oper EPS $0.67 vs est $0.48
* Q1 revenue up 14 pct
* Net premiums earned rise 5 pct
April 26 (Reuters) - Axis Capital Holdings Ltd (AXS.N), a Bermuda insurer and reinsurer, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a rise in net premiums earned.
For the first quarter, the company earned $112 million, or 79 cents a share, compared with $116 million, or 78 cents a share, last year.
Operating earnings were $96 million, or 67 cents per share, compared with $156 million, or $1.05 per share, a year ago.
Analysts on average expected for a profit of 48 cents a share, before items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue rose 14 percent to $817.6 million.
Net premiums earned rose 5 percent to $696 million.
Reinsurers essentially provide insurance to other insurers, spreading the risk of losses among several carriers.
Axis Capital shares closed at $32.31 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhinav Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)