Cincinnati Financial Corp. Reports 2nd Quarter Results

Cincinnati Financial Corp. held a webcast on Wednesday, Aug. 6 to discuss 2nd Quarter results for the company.

Some of the key results are;

* Net income at $63 million, or 38 cents per share in the second quarter of 2008, compared with net income of $351 million, or $2.02 per share, in the second quarter of 2007. A return to profitability in the second quarter after the first quarter loss brought six-month net income per share to 13 cents compared with $3.13 last year. Realized capital losses were significantly lower in the second quarter compared with first-quarter 2008.

* Operating income* at $69 million, or 42 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2008, compared with $164 million, or 94 cents per share, in the comparable 2007 period. Record catastrophe losses reduced second-quarter operating income by 45 cents per share compared with 4 cents per share in last year’s second quarter. Six-month operating income at $1.08 per share included a 62 cent impact from catastrophe losses compared with $1.82 per share including a 5 cent impact.

* Atypically high catastrophe losses of $113 million resulted in a consolidated property casualty underwriting loss of $27 million in this year’s second quarter.

Insurance operations highlights:
* 103.5 percent second-quarter 2008 property casualty combined ratio, compared with 88.6 percent for the 2007 second-quarter. The most significant reason for the increase was the 13.5 percentage point rise in the catastrophe loss contribution.

* Decrease in property casualty net written premiums narrowed to 2.5 percent in the second quarter from 8.3 percent in the first quarter, benefiting from $100 million of new business, with new commercial lines business up 21.2 percent and new personal lines business up 7.7 percent. Pricing remains competitive in both commercial and personal lines. Recently launched excess and surplus lines operations contributed $4 million of new business since January 1.

* 6 cents per share contribution from life insurance operations to second-quarter operating income, up from 5 cents.

Full-year 2008 Outlook
* Property casualty net written premium target unchanged. Competitive pricing could lead to full-year 2008 premiums declining as much as 5 percent.

* Combined ratio could rise above 100 percent due to high catastrophe losses, as recently announced.

* Expected lower investment income now estimated to be as much as 10 percent below the 2007 level due to lower anticipated dividends from common stocks and the lower number of Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) shares held after recent sale. Portfolio strategies, including reinvestment of proceeds from Fifth Third sale, continue to focus on balancing near-term income generation with long-term book value growth potential.

Kenneth W. Stecher, president and chief executive officer, explained the results, “Volatile weather patterns and financial markets hampered our results for the first half of 2008. Our strong business relationships and solid financial foundation allowed us to respond confidently and flexibly to these challenges while acting on our promise of prompt and fair claims service.

“Our financial position remains solid, having absorbed costs associated with the severe storms and with declining valuations of holdings in our equity investment portfolio. Independent agents continue to find that our policies are the best match for their better accounts, appreciating the value of our financial strength and our standout service. Over recent months, we repositioned our investment portfolio, improving our risk profile and adding to our long-term prospects for investment income growth and capital appreciation….”

Source: Cincinnati Financial Corporation