Selective Insurance Posts Fourth Quarter Loss

January 29, 2009

Branchville, New Jersey-based Selective Insurance Group Inc. reported a fourth-quarter net loss, hit by a 63 percent fall in investment income, sending its shares down more than 10 percent.

The property and casualty insurer posted a net loss of $14.4 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $36.2 million a year earlier.
Net premium earned fell 4 percent to $366.6 million.

Operating income fell 83 percent to $5.3 million, while investment income came in at $18.5 million.

“While our insurance operations performed well in a competitive market, investment losses led to disappointing results for both the quarter and the year,” Chief Executive Gregory Murphy said in a statement.

Selective did not provide 2009 outlook on investment income or earnings-per-share, citing uncertain financial markets.

Shares of the company were down more than 10 percent at $18.50 in trading after the bell. They closed at $20.68 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Adheesha Sarkar in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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