Auto insurance group Progressive Corp. (PGR) reported Wednesday a profit for the first quarter that increased 20 percent from last year, reflecting higher realized gains on securities and revenue growth. However, profit for the month of March declined three percent from last year, reflecting a drop in realized gains on securities.
The Mayfield Village, Ohio-based company reported net income of $308.6 million or $0.51 per share for the first quarter, higher than $257.6 million or $0.42 per share in the prior-year quarter. The results for the latest quarter include pretax net realized gains on securities of $80.6 million, up 4 percent from $77.5 million a year ago.
Comprehensive income for the quarter was $407.3 million or $0.67 per share, compared to $459.9 million or $0.75 per share in the year-ago quarter.
On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.44 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total revenues for the quarter grew 8 percent to $4.44 billion from $4.13 billion in the same quarter last year, and matched eleven Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate.
Net premiums written for the quarter grew 7 percent from the year-ago period to $4.45 billion, and net premiums earned rose 8 percent to $4.18 billion from last year.
Total catastrophe losses for the quarter were $46 million or 1.1 loss ratio points. This compares to catastrophe losses of $16 million or 0.4 points in the same period last year.
Combined ratio or amount of premiums paid as claims for the quarter, was 92.4 percent, down 1.7 percentage points from a year ago.
For the month of March, Progressive posted net income of $74.2 million or $0.12 per share, down from $76.3 million or $0.13 per share in the same period last year. Comprehensive income for the month was $114.5 million or $0.19 per share.
For the month, the company incurred about $30 million or 2.3 loss ratio points of catastrophe losses related to hail storms. Mississippi and Georgia accounted for about 90 percent of the total incurred catastrophe losses in the latest period.
Pretax net realized gains on securities for the month were $18.7 million, down 48 percent from $36.2 million in the prior-year period.
Total revenues for March were $1.38 billion. Net premiums written increased 7 percent from the prior-ago period to $1.44 billion, and net premiums earned grew 8 percent to $1.30 billion.
Combined ratio for March declined 1.1 percentage points from the year-ago period to 94.9.
For March, the company's total personal lines policies in force increased 2 percent to 12.87 million. Of this, total personal auto policies grew 1 percent to 8.93 million, with flat Agency Auto policies and 3 percent growth in Direct Auto policies. Total special lines policies for the month grew 2 percent from last year to 3.94 million.
Meanwhile, total commercial auto policies in the month increased 1 percent to 519,600 from last year.
In Wednesday's regular trading session, PGR is currently trading at $25.11, down $0.65 or 2.52% on a volume of 0.41 million shares.
by RTT Staff Writer
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