Horace Mann Educators
, the largest national multi-line insurance company, said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 43.1% from a year ago, due to a $13.2 million catastrophe cost.
The company earned $16.1 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $28.3 million, or 61 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for an after-tax net realized gain on securities of $400,000 , or 1 cent a share, earnings were $15.7 million, or 34 cents a share, in the most recent quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 38 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue fell 1.5% from a year ago to $220.4 million.
The company estimates earnings before realized investment gains and losses of $1.65 a share to $1.80 a share for the year 2006. Analysts are estimating earnings of $1.76 a share.
"As previously announced, Horace Mann's fourth quarter 2005 earnings reflected a significant level of catastrophe costs for the company -- $13.2 million after tax, or 28 cents per share, for the quarter,” the company said. "Looking beyond the catastrophe costs, property and casualty non-catastrophe loss ratios continued to be favorable in the fourth quarter, although somewhat higher than prior year due to the severe winter weather that impacted several key states in the first half of December."
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