second-quarter earnings surged a much-better-than-expected 11.1% from a year ago, boosted by strong results in auto and homeowner insurance and a smaller catastrophe loss.
The company earned $1.15 billion in the quarter, compared with $1.03 billion a year ago. Operating earnings, which exclude certain investment results and other items, were $1.66 a share in the latest quarter, up from $1.47 a year ago. Analysts were expecting operating earnings of $1.51 a share in the quarter.
The company said property-liability underwriting income was $994 million in the second quarter, up 11.9% from a year ago, reflecting higher premiums, fewer losses in the auto and homeowner lines, and favorable prior-year reserve re-estimates. The company's pretax catastrophe loss was $146 million in the 2005 quarter compared with $248 million a year ago.
For all of 2005, the company expects to post operating earnings of $6 to $6.40 a share, up from prior guidance of $5.40 to $5.80. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate was $6.03 a share.
The stock added $2, or 3.2%, to $64 on Instinet.