- The annualized rate of return on average policyholders' surplus was up 6.3 percent from 2.6 percent;
- Net investment gains rang in at $13.3 billion to $25.8 billion, up from $12.5 billion in first-half 2009
- Insurers' reported underwriting losses of $5.1 billion for the first half of 2010 compared a $2.1 billion loss for the same time period last year.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. property and casualty insurers reported positive results today, but once you look under the hood the picture is not as rosy. Insurers' industry-wide net income rose to $16.5 billion from $6 billion in the first-half of 2010, but that's to be expected as the industry recovers from the financial crisis, argues one analyst. "It is less impressive then it looks," said Meyer Shields, analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. "We had year to year growth on the profitability side, but they are leaning on reserve releases. The underlying results are less impressive." Data released from the Insurance Information Institute, ISO and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America boasts :
Shield foresees consolidation in specialty insurance particularly medical malpractice insurance. He says that investors should watch American Physicians Service ( AMPH ), American Physicians Capital ( ACAP ), ProAssurance Corporation ( PRA) and FPIC Insurance Group ( FPIC ). "Most likely sellers will specialize in a certain area of business. I don't see a player like FPIC having the same pressure to sell as the rest and ProAssurance has already been a buyer. That doesn't mean they aren't a target though," Sheilds said. Shields says that Bermuda carriers will also consolidate and Montpelier Re ( MRH ) could be a target. "There are dozens of companies in Bermuda and we are seeing management retire, and a lot of that can go along with a sale," Shields said. --Written by Maria Woehr in New York. To contact the writer of this article, click here: Maria Woehr. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/newsgirlmw. To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.