WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Property and casualty insurance company Chubb Corp.(CB), Thursday reported a small decline in profit for the first quarter, hurt mainly by lower investment gains. Nevertheless, adjusted earnings for the quarter came in ahead of analysts' expectations, helped by higher premiums and lower losses and loss expenses.
Realized investment gains after income tax for the quarter dropped to $37 million from $104 million last year.
Net premiums written for the quarter rose to $2.95 billion from $2.86 billion last year. Thirteen analysts on a consensus estimated revenues of $2.99 billion for the quarter.
Underwriting income increased to $303 million from $202 million last year, as losses and loss expenses declined. Losses and loss expenses dropped to $1.71 billion from $1.77 billion last year.
Warren, New Jersey-based Chubb's first-quarter net income inched down to $506 million or $1.83 per share from $509 million or $1.70 per share last year. On per share basis, earnings increased due to lower number of shares outstanding for the recent quarter.
Operating income, which excludes investment gains and losses, for the quarter improved to $469 million or $1.70 per share from $405 million or $1.35 per share last year. On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.52 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
First-quarter combined loss and expense ratio dropped down to 90.2 percent from 93.7 percent last year. A ratio above 100 percent indicates that the company is paying out more money in claims than it is receiving from premiums.
Chief Executive John Finnegan said, 'We are especially encouraged by the momentum of renewal rate increases we experienced during the quarter in both standard commercial and specialty lines, as well as the continued rate improvement in personal lines.'
CB closed Thursday's trading at $72.19, up $1.52 or 2.15%, on a volume of 2.8 million shares on the NYSE. The stock further lost $0.90 or 1.25% in after-hours trade.
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