Posted on 27 Jan 2009
The biggest U.S. insurer by market value, Travelers Cos., gained the most in six weeks in New York trading after fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.
Operating earnings, which exclude some investment losses, were $1.58 a share, 12 cents better than the average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income fell 25 percent to $801 million, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based commercial insurer said today in a statement.
“They did pretty well,” said Paul Newsome, an analyst with Sandler O’Neill & Partners in Chicago. “You’ve got pretty good underwriting results.”
Travelers surpassed American International Group Inc. and MetLife Inc. in market value as Chief Executive Officer Jay Fishman sidestepped the mortgage-related investments that forced down competitors’ shares by more than 50 percent in the past year. Travelers invests mostly in municipal bonds and corporate debt.