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HCC Insurance Profit Up 18%, Claims In Check; View Cautious

Source: Dow Jones

Posted on 24 Feb 2010

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HCC Insurance Holdings Inc.'s (HCC) fourth-quarter profit climbed 18% as the specialty insurer reported surprisingly strong revenue and kept a lid on claims.

For 2010, the company expects earnings of $2.70 to $3 a share and total revenue of $2.4 billion. Wall Street expected $3.02 and $2.38 billion, respectively, according to Thomson Reuters.

Though the environment for insurers remains challenging, HCC has benefited from a lighter claims load and improving investment markets.

The provider of property/casualty insurance to commercial customers reported earnings of $84.8 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $71.6 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Total revenue rose 7% to $590.3 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 71 cents on revenue of $581 million.

The combined ratio, the percentage of premiums paid out in claims, edged up to 85.8% from 85.6%.