Posted on 25 Oct 2012 by Neilson
Everest Re Group Ltd.'s third-quarter profit soared as the insurer paid out fewer claims compared with the previous year, masking a decline in premiums earned.
Everest Re Group operates several companies that provide reinsurance to property, casualty and life insurers. The insurance sector's earnings this year have improved compared with 2011, when payouts were driven higher by a string of natural disasters including devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and flooding in Thailand.
In the latest period, total claims and expenses declined 11%. The combined ratio--the percentage of premiums paid out in claims--improved to 87.2% from 95.6%.
Everest Re reported a profit of $250.9 million, or $4.82 a share, up from $63.1 million, or $1.16 a share a year earlier. After-tax operating income, which excludes capital gains and losses, rose to $4.05 a share from $2.70.
Premiums earned fell 3.3% to $1.01 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted per-share earnings of $3.74 on $1.05 billion in premiums earned.
Gross written premiums grew roughly 7% to $1.2 billion.
Net investment income fell 2.8% to $152 million.
The company swung to $62.7 million in capital gains compared with $137.7 million in capital losses a year earlier.