Allstate Swings to $1.16 Billion Gain in 3rd Quarter with Fewer Hurricanes

October 19, 2006

Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate Corp., the second-largest U.S. personal-lines insurer behind State Farm, reported a $1.16 billion third-quarter profit Wednesday as it benefited from a quiet hurricane season.

The company also raised guidance for its full-year earnings.

The large gain contrasted sharply with the third quarter of 2005, when Katrina and other hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast sent the Northbrook, Ill., insurer to a record $1.55 billion loss.

Earnings for the July-through-September period this year amounted to $1.83 per share and compared with a loss a year earlier of $2.36 per share.

Revenue was $8.74 billion, down 2 percent from $8.94 billion in the third quarter of 2005.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been looking for earnings of $1.78 per share on revenue of $8.32 billion.

Allstate raised its estimate for 2006 operating earnings to a range of $7.35 per share to $7.50 per share, up from the previously announced range of $6.70 to $7.

The company also announced a new $3 billion share repurchase program, to be completed after the current $4 billion plan ends in the fourth quarter and before April 2008.

“We remain very confident in the company’s strategy and are investing in our core businesses to generate profitable growth,” said Edward Liddy, chairman and chief executive.

Allstate announced last month that Liddy is stepping down from the CEO post at the end of 2006 after eight years and will be succeeded by No. 2 executive Thomas Wilson, currently president and chief operating officer.

Shares in the company closed down 19 cents at $63.30 on the New York Stock Exchange before the earnings report was released, up 17 percent for the year.

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