Travelers Ups '09 Outlook as Earnings Fall

Updated from 6:24 a.m. EDT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Travelers ( TRV), a relatively new addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, reported second-quarter net income of $740 million, or $1.27 a share, a decline from earnings of $942 million, or $1.54 a share, as premiums and net investment income declined.

Operating income also fell, to $732 million, or $1.25 a share, compared with $918 million, or $1.50 a share, in the prior-year quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.28 a share.

Travelers raised its operating income forecasts for 2009 to $4.80 to $5.05 a share, an increase from its previously announced range of $4.55 to $4.95.

Gross premiums in the quarter were $5.97 billion, down slightly from $6.06 billion a year earlier.

Net investment income in the quarter was $547 million, compared with $624 million a year earlier.

Return on equity was 11.1%, down from 14.4%.

"Our performance for the quarter reflects solid underwriting and fixed income investment results, as well as the continued impact of very low short-term investment yields and a small loss on our alternative investment portfolio," said Chairman and CEO Jay Fishman, in a statement Thursday.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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