said earnings for the fourth quarter surged by 81.4% from the year-ago period.
The insurance company earned $114.5 million, or $2.11 a share, compared with $63.1 million, or $1.18 a share, in the fourth quarter of last year. Income from continuing operations in the fourth quarter was $80.2 million, or $1.48 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 82 cents a share.
Income from the property and casualty business rose 22% to $89.5 million. Hanover said that earnings were higher in the quarter due primarily to favorable loss performance in both Personal Lines and Commercial Lines, partially offset by $35.0 million of additional reserves related to the third quarter Hurricane Katrina losses.
The personal lines segment, covering automobile, homeowners and ancillary assets, contributed close to 95% of income in the current quarter.
"We continue to effectively execute to our key business strategies in both our Personal Lines and Commercial Lines segments, which were up significantly on an ex-catastrophe basis over the fourth quarter of last year. Our underlying loss trends continue to improve and remain strong.", said Frederick H. Eppinger, chief executive officer of the firm.
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