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Progressive Lower After Earnings Come Up Short of Estimate

Progressive fell after the insurance titan reported second-quarter earnings that declined and missed Wall Street's consensus estimate.
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Progressive  (PGR) - Get Progressive Corporation Report shares fell Thursday, after the insurance titan reported second-quarter earnings that declined and missed Wall Street's consensus estimate.

Profit registered $790.1 million, or $1.34 a share, down from $1.79 billion, or $3.04, in the year-earlier quarter.

A survey of analysts by FactSet produced a consensus estimate of $1.52 a share for the quarter.

Net premiums written rose 13% in the latest quarter to $11.48 billion. And net premiums earned climbed 14% to $10.98 billion.

The stock recently traded at $94.72, off 2.8%. It’s little changed over the past six months.

Morningstar analyst Brett Horn put fair value for Progressive at $79 last month.

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“Progressive is one of the strongest franchises in the insurance industry, and it is currently firing on all cylinders,” he wrote.

“The auto industry had seen an uptick in costs in previous years, as a multitude of factors ranging from low gas prices to distracted driving pushed up claims.”

In addition, “Progressive is benefiting from an aggressive move to expand its reach, having acquired homeowners insurance operator ARX in 2015,” Horn said.

“We're skeptical that the homeowners business will match the returns on Progressive's legacy business. But the ability to bundle homeowners and auto has allowed Progressive to broaden its demographic reach and increase its penetration among relatively affluent customers.

“This has reignited growth in its historically dormant agent channel and makes this expansion value-creative overall.”

In other insurance news, last month on TheStreet.com, Nerdwallet offered four insurance tasks to do now if you live in a hurricane zone. 

The advice includes: check your coverage limits, evaluate your deductibles and make a home inventory.