The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company posted a net income of $273.5 million, or $1.23 on a per-share basis. Earnings, excluding net after-tax realized investment gains and losses, were $1.24 per share, a penny shy of estimates. Revenue of $2.9 billion narrowly topped analysts' expectations of $2.88 billion.
Shares fell 0.2% to $47.80 in extended trading on Tuesday.
"We continue to look for ways to grow our business both organically and through targeted, strategic acquisitions," Chief Executive Officer said Richard McKenney in a statement.
Earlier this year, McKenney entertained the idea of selling off the company's unit that sold long-term care policies, called Closed Block, but has struggled to find a buyer. The unit stopped selling long-term care policies in 2012.
"Over the last 10 years, we've been looking about how we cannot be in this business," McKenney said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Insurance Conference in February. "But when it comes to buyers and sellers meeting, we just don't see that world today."
"Over the long-term care side, you just don't have buyers meeting sellers there at scale," he continued.
This quarter, Unum's Closed Block segment, which includes long-term care policies, saw premium income decline 4.7% year over year due to policy terminations and maturities for the individual disability line of business. The premium income specifically for LTC decreased "slightly due primarily to policy terminations, partially offset by rate increases."
Unum "implied that if interest rates increase, this may help them avoid a charge in 2018 and that if they do take a charge, it should be a non-cash GAAP only charge, with statutory reserves currently $1 billion larger than GAAP," Evercore ISI analyst Thomas Gallagher said in March. "Despite the increase in interest rates, we think pressure on claim durations still raises the risk of a charge this year for UNM."
The interest-adjusted loss ratio for the LTC business was 96.6%, compared to 88.6% during the same period a year prior. Unum said the increase was related to higher claims incidence and less favorable policy terminations. This would mark the third quarter that the interest-adjusted loss ratio is above 93%, and a higher percentage is less favorable.
Following the company's 2017 fourth-quarter results, Wells Fargo analyst Sean Dargan said the higher LTC interest-adjusted loss ratio could reflect normal volatility or indicate claims experience is worsening.
Unum will host its conference call with analysts on Wednesday, May 2 at 9 a.m. New York time.