October 19, 2012

Fewer storm losses widens Travelers' 3Q profit

Travelers' net income more than doubled in the third quarter as the insurer paid out less money for weather-related catastrophe claims, The Associated Press reports.

Travelers Cos. said Thursday that its net income jumped to $864 million, or $2.21 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $333 million, or 79 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $6.51 billion from $6.41 billion.

Results trumped predictions of analysts polled by FactSet: Profit of $1.60 per share on $6.39 billion in revenue.

Investors sent shares in the New York company up $2.45, or 3.4 percent, to $73.83 in afternoon trading. The stock is up 25 percent this year.

Travelers' catastrophe-related losses in the third quarter amounted to $59 million, after taxes. Losses totaled $394 million, after taxes, in the third quarter of last year.

The company said net written premiums, or the amount earned from premiums minus the amount paid out in commissions and reinsurance, were flat at $5.7 billion.

Travelers' results also benefited from rate gains across its array of insurance segments.

Its investment income rose to $578 million from $561 million, after taxes.

The company will "actively but selectively" pursue price increases, said Travelers CEO Jay Fishman. The company provides insurance for autos, homes and businesses.

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