INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. (Nasdaq:BWINA) (Nasdaq:BWINB) today announced net income for the quarter of $10.3 million or $.69 per share. This compares to net income of $.74 per share for the prior year period. Operating income, defined as net income before investment gains and losses, was $6.4 million for the quarter, or $.43 per share, as compared to last year's record $.56 per share. Investment gains, which include the quarterly change in value for limited partnership investments owned by the Company, were aided by the continuing recovery of global equity markets during the quarter, adding $.26 per share to this quarter's net income compared to $.18 per share in the fourth quarter of 2009.
For the full year, net income of $25.0 million or $1.69 per share compares to net income of $44.8 million or $3.04 per share, in the 2009 period. Operating income for the current year of $14.3 million, or $.97 per share compared to $1.68 per share in 2009, the decline principally due to significant global catastrophe losses. Income from investment gains declined from a gain of $1.36 per share in 2009 to a gain of $.72 per share this year.
Premiums written by the Company's insurance subsidiaries for the current quarter increased 7% when compared to the year earlier period and have increased 18% for the full year. The higher premium volume includes the impact from traditional products, principally fleet transportation as well as new products, including commercial multi-peril and casualty reinsurance.Net premium earned increased 13% to $57.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. For the twelve months, earned premium increased 18% to $214.7 million. The changes in net premium earned, compared to premium written, reflect both the time lag between premium written and earned as well as the utilization of reinsurance on certain products.