Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Unum Group (UNM) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Beat

Read MoreHide Full Article

Unum Group’s (UNM - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2020 operating net income of $1.15 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4%. Also, the bottom line decreased 18.4% year over year.

The company witnessed soft performances across its Unum U.S., Unum International and Colonial Life segments.

Operational Update          

Total operating revenues of Unum Group were nearly $3 billion, down about 2% year over year due to lower premiums, net investment income and other income. However, the top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.3%.

Net investment income decreased 3.7% to $593.5 million.

Total benefits and expenses increased 56.1% year over year to $4.1 billion, largely attributable to rise in benefits and change in reserves for future benefits and other expense.

Unum Group Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Quarterly Segment Update

Unum U.S.: Premium income was $1.5 billion, down 1.5% year over year.

Adjusted operating income was down 45.5% year over year to $143.5 million, attributable to lower group disability line of business and group life, accidental death and dismemberment line of business and supplemental and voluntary line of business.

Unum International: Premium income remained almost flat year over year at $165.7 million.  Adjusted operating income was $20.7 million, down 13.4% year over year.

Unum UK line of business’ premium income was £108.9 million, down 4.4%, attributable to  lower persistency in both the group long-term disability and group life product lines as well as lower sales, partially offset by rate increases in the group long-term disability product line. Adjusted operating income, in local currency, of £15.4 million was down 11.5%.

Benefit ratio was 75.6%, down 170 basis points (bps), due to lower inflation-linked experience in benefits related to its group products.

Persistency decreased in group long-term disability but improved in group life business and supplemental line of business.

Colonial Life: Premium income declined 1.4% to $418.8 million attributable to lower sales, partially offset by a higher level of persistency. Sales decreased 26.5% to $154.2 million. Adjusted operating income decreased 18.8% to $71.2 million.

Benefit ratio deteriorated 510 bps year over year to 56.6 due to unfavorable experience in the life and disability product lines, resulting from the impacts of COVID-19.

Closed Block: Premium income decreased 1.43% year over year due to policy terminations and maturities, partially offset by premium rate increases on certain in-force business in the long-term care line of business. Adjusted operating income was $104.2 million, more than double year over year.

Corporate: The segment incurred an operating loss of $42.7 million, narrower than operating loss of $50.5 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Full-Year Highlights

Adjusted earnings were $4.93 per share, down 9.4% year over year. The bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.98.

Operating revenues of $12 billion for 2020 decreased 0.5% year over year and marginally beat the consensus estimate.

Capital Management

As of Dec 31, 2020, the weighted average risk-based capital ratio for Unum Group’s traditional U.S. insurance companies was approximately 365%.

Unum Group exited the quarter with cash and marketable securities worth $1.5 billion.

Book value per share of Unum Group improved 8.7% year over year to $53.37 as of Dec 31, 2020.

Business Update

Closed Block individual disability reinsurance transaction is expected to free $650 million of capital. Of this, $400 million was realized in the fourth quarter.


Unum expects a modest year-over-year decline in after-tax adjusted operating income per share for 2021.

Zacks Rank

Unum Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Insurers

Fourth-quarter earnings of Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO - Free Report) , RLI Corp. (RLI - Free Report) and W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential

The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases.

Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better.

See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB) - free report >>

RLI Corp. (RLI) - free report >>

Unum Group (UNM) - free report >>

Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO) - free report >>