Safeco

(SAFC)

reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and said that while the personal auto and small-business insurance divisions met its expectations, the other major property and casualty lines didn't fare as well.

The insurance company reported operating income for the latest third quarter of $12.2 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $9.8 million, or 7 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. The 15-analyst

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First Call/Thomson Financial

survey expected the company to earn 6 cents for the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $1.80 billion from $1.76 billion a year ago.