While we can't predict what effect Sandy will have on the insurers with the largest P&C market shares in New York and the Northeast, all it takes is one storm to change the story for an insurer's underwriting profit or loss for a year.
According to information provided by the Insurance Information Institute, based on data from SNL Financial, the three carries with the largest property & casualty underwriting business in New York State are all publicly traded: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), with a 7.98% of direct premiums written in 2011, followed by Allstate (ALL - Get Report), with a market share of 7.71%, and The Travelers Companies (TRV - Get Report), with a 6.29% share.
For the Northeast, Liberty Mutual had the highest 2011 market share, with 9.65% of direct premiums written during 2011, followed by Travelers, with a 7.08% market share, MAPFRE -- held by MAPFRE SA -- with a 6.00% market share, and American International Group (AIG - Get Report), with a 3.92% share. Next was Allstate, with a 3.42% Northeast market share, and Chubb (CB - Get Report), with a 3.41% share.
For the Mid-Atlantic region, State Farm led with a 7.66% share of direct P&C premiums written during 2011, followed by Allstate, with a 7.27% share, Berkshire, with 6.68%, Liberty Mutual, with a 6.12% market share, Travelers, with a 5.94% share, AIG with 5.21%, Nationwide Mutual, with 4.09%, and Chubb, with a 3.21% market share.Here's a quick summary of year-to-date stock and underwriting performance, for the five companies listed above that are publicly traded in the United States. Some of the companies have not yet reported their third-quarter results.
- Berkshire Hathaway's Class-B shares closed at $87.15 Thursday, returning 14% year-to-date. The shares trade for 16 times the consensus 2013 earnings estimate of $5.50 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. For the first half of 2012, Berkshire reported net earnings of $6.353 billion, or $2.56 per Class-B share, increasing from $4.928 billion, or $1.99 billion per Class-B share, during the first half of 2011. Insurance-underwriting earnings for the first half of 2012 were $673 million, compared to an underwriting loss of $828 million a year earlier.
- Allstate's shares closed at $40.51 Thursday, returning 51% year-to-date. The shares trade for nine times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $4.44. Based on a quarterly payout of 22 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.17%. During the first half of 2012, Allstate earned $1.189 billion, or $2.40 a share, improving from a net loss of $100 million, or 19 cents a share, a year earlier. First-half underwriting income totaled $657 million, compared to an underwriting loss of $1.174 billion during the first half of 2011.
- Shares of Travelers closed at $72.12 Thursday, returning 25% year-to-date and trade for 10 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $6.88. Based on a quarterly payout of 46 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.55%. The company reported net income of $1.169 billion, or $5.50 a share, for the first three quarters of 2012, increasing from $808 million, or $1.88 a share, during the first three quarters of 2011. The company's pre-tax underwriting gain for the first three quarters was $845 million, improving from an underwriting loss of $1.453 billion, a year earlier.
- AIG's shares closed at $34.98 Thursday, rising 51% year-to-date, as the government has wound-down its stake in the company's common shares, mainly through AIG buybacks. The shares trade for 10 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $3.50. Leaving aside AIG's epic bailout, and the equally fascinating story of how the company is nearly finished paying the government back, the company reported after-tax operating income of $4.955 billion or $2.73 a share, for the first half of 2012, increasing from $3.329 billion, or $1.96 a share, a year earlier. The company's underwriting loss narrowed to $397 million in the first half of 2012, from $1.962 billion, during the first half of 2011.
- Shares of Chubb closed at $79.39 Thursday, returning 17% year-to-date. The shares trade for 13 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $6.08. Based on a quarterly payout of 41 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.07%. For the first three quarters of 2012, the company reported net income of $1.443 billion, or $5.29 a share, increasing from $1.226 billion, or $4.16 a share, during the first three quarters of 2011. Underwriting income for the first three quarters totaled $880 million, rising from $290 million a year earlier.
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