Allstate Corp. said first-quarter profit rose 5 percent as investment gains offset a decline in revenue from property-liability insurance premiums.
The insurer posted net income of $1.49 billion, or $2.39 per share, compared with $1.42 billion, or $2.19 per share, in the same quarter last year.
Excluding the capital gains that boosted earnings in the recent quarter by $305 million versus $129 million a year ago, operating earnings declined to $1.2 billion, or $1.93 per share, from $1.3 billion, or $2.01 per share.
Revenue rose 3 percent to $9.33 billion from $9.08 billion a year ago, as capital gains more than doubled to offset a 1 percent decline in revenue from the company’s primary property-liability insurance business to $6.81 billion.
The company said Allstate brand auto premiums written during the quarter grew 2.5 percent but homeowners premiums written declined 5.8 percent.
The results easily beat estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who forecast earnings of $1.87 per share on revenue of $8.52 billion.
Catastrophe losses for the quarter were $161 million, compared with $107 million in the first quarter of 2006.
“Winter weather in the Central and Northeast sections of the country partially contributed to the increase in claim frequency in standard auto property damage and in our homeowners line during the quarter,” said Thomas J. Wilson, president and chief executive officer. “Property damage severity results in the quarter were moderate and better than we expected at the beginning of the year.”
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