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Hartford Financial Third-Quarter Net Soars on Fewer Disasters

Posted on 02 Nov 2012 by Neilson

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HartfordHartford Financial Services Group Inc.'s third-quarter profit soared as the insurer benefited from a lack of natural disasters.

Along with fewer catastrophes, the strong results also reflected higher pricing in the company's property and casualty business, said Chief Executive Liam E. McGee. Renewal pricing increased 8% in the standard commercial business, 4% in personal auto and 6% in homeowners insurance.

The 200-year-old insurer is in the midst of a major overhaul to refocus on its property-casualty, group-benefits and mutual-funds operations while shedding numerous businesses amid pressure from some shareholders.

Hartford Financial reported a profit of $401 million, or 83 cents a share, up from $60 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier. Core earnings, which exclude some investment results, rose to 78 cents a share from eight cents a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected adjusted earnings of 83 cents a share.

Revenue rose 43% to $6.44 billion.

The property and casualty business reported that commercial premiums written were roughly flat. The segment's combined ratio, or the percentage of premiums that the company pays out for claims and expenses, improved to 97.5% from 99.4%.