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Progressive February Profit Down 7% - Update

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Auto insurance group Progressive Corp. (PGR: Quote) reported Wednesday a 7 percent decline in profit for the month of February from last year as an increase in net premiums as well as higher investment gains from securities were more than offset by higher expenses.

The Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company reported net income of $106.3 million for the month of February, lower than $114.1 million in the prior-year period, with earnings per share remaining flat with last year at $0.17, due to lower number of outstanding shares.

The results for the latest month include pretax net realized gain on securities of $29.4 million, up 25 percent for $23.6 million in the same period last year.

Total revenues for the month were $1.26 billion, up from $1.19 billion a year ago. Net premiums written rose 6 percent from the year-ago period to $1.38 billion, and net premiums earned also grew 5 percent to $1.19 billion from last year.

Combined ratio for the month, or the amount of premiums paid as claims, increased 1.8 percentage points to 91.2 percent from 89.4 percent in the same period last year.

For February, the company's total personal lines policies in force increased 6 percent to 12.53 million. Of this, total personal auto policies grew 6 percent to 8.73 million, with a 5 percent rise in Agency Auto policies and 7 percent growth in Direct Auto policies. Total special lines policies for the month grew 5 percent from last year to 3.80 million.

Meanwhile, total commercial auto policies in the month edged up 1 percent to 511,800 from last year.

Total expenses for the month grew to $1.10 billion from $1.02 billion in the year-ago period.

In Wednesday's regular trading session, PGR is currently trading at $22.71, up $0.07 or 0.31% on a volume of 1.15 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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