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Everest Re Earnings Beats Estimates

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Everest Re Group Ltd. (RE - Free Report) reported second quarter 2013 operating earnings of $5.10 per share, substantially beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.26 per share. Earnings were also up 20% year over year. 
Including after tax net realized capital gains and loss, the company reported net income of $7.56 per share against $4.08 per share reported in the year-ago quarter.
Operational Update
Total revenue for the quarter came in at $1.35 billion, up 14.6% year over year. The increase was due to higher premium earned which increased 11% year over year to $1.15 billion.
Net investment income decreased 0.4% year over year to $148.7 million.
Total claims and expenses were up 9.5% year over year to $1.03 billion, primarily due to higher incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses, higher underwriting and interest expenses.
The combined ratio improved to 87.6% from 89.0% in the year-ago quarter. 
During the quarter, the company suffered cat loss of $90.0 million because of  tornadoes and hailstorms in the U.S. and flooding in Central Europe and Canada.
Segment Results
The company’s Reinsurance segment reported net premium written of $935.8 million, up 43.0% year over year. The segment reported underwriting gain of $134.4 million up 26% year over year. Combined ratio was 85.1%, compared with 87.0% in the year-ago quarter.
The Insurance segment reported premium written of $276.8 million, up 36% year over year. The segment reported an underwriting profit of $8.5 million, up 14% year over year.
Financial Update
Shareholders’ equity as of the end of the reported quarter was $6.6 billion, compared with $6.7 billion at Dec 31, 2012. 
Book value per share increased to $136.31 as on Jun 30, 2013 from $130.960 as of Dec 31, 2012. 
Share Repurchase Update
During the quarter under review, Everest Re spent $211.3 million on share repurchase.
Everest Re currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  Other companies in the same industry The Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV - Free Report) , RLI Corporation (RLI - Free Report) and ACE Limited also reported second quarter 2013 earnings ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. 

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