Progressive Corporation reported profit for the first quarter of 2001. This reverses a year-ago loss for the Ohio-based company as it nudged insurance premiums up and held down the cost of claims.
Progressive reports operating profits, excluding one-time items, rose to $88.3 million (or $1.18 per share). This is an improvement from the loss of $36.6 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.
According to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call, Progressive beat its estimated average profit forecast of 69 cents per share profit.
The company attributes last year’s heavy quarterly loss to a combination of storm damage and setting aside large reserves for old claims at a time of falling premium rates. This year, insurers are raising rates after a decade-long slump in an attempt to offset high claim payments.
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