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Unum Group's (UNM) Q4 Earnings & Revenues Top Estimates

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Unum Group’s (UNM - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2021 operating net income of 89 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.4%. The bottom line decreased 22.6% year over year.

Improved premium income and strong returns in alternative invested asset portfolio were weighed down by high COVID-related mortality and infection levels.

Unum Group Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Operational Update         

Total operating revenues of Unum Group were nearly $3 billion, up 0.6% year over year on the back of higher premiums and other income. The top line marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Net investment income decreased 7.2% to $550.8 million.

Total benefits and expenses decreased 32.8% year over year to $2.8 billion, largely attributable to lower in benefits and change in reserves for future benefits.

Quarterly Segment Update

Unum U.S.: Premium income was $1.5 billion, up 3% year over year.

Adjusted operating income was down 43.3% year over year to $81.4 million, attributable to lower income at the group disability line of business, wider loss at group life and accidental death and dismemberment line of business.

Unum International: Premium income increased 1% year over year at $177.5 million.  Adjusted operating income was $27.1 million, up 30.9% year over year.

Unum UK line of business’ premium income was £114.5 million, up 5.1%, driven by growth in the in-force block resulting from the impact of rate increases in the group long-term disability product line and higher overall persistency. Adjusted operating income, in local currency, of £18.7 million was up 21.4%.

Benefit ratio of 81.4 deteriorated 580 basis points (bps) due to higher inflation-linked experience in benefits related to its group products.

Colonial Life: Premium income improved 1.1% to $423.3 million attributable to higher sales and a higher level of persistency. Sales increased 7.8% to $166.2 million. Adjusted operating income increased 12.4% to $80 million.

Benefit ratio improved 410 bps year over year to 52.5 driven by favorable incidence in all the product lines.

Closed Block: Premium income decreased 2.3% year over year to $244.5 million due to policy terminations and maturities, partially offset by premium rate increases on certain in-force businesses in the long-term care line of business. Adjusted operating income was $76.7 million, down 26.4% year over year.

Corporate: The segment incurred an operating loss of $45.7 million, wider than an operating loss of $42.7 million in the year-earlier quarter, attributable to higher interest and operating expenses.

Full-Year 2021 Highlights

Adjusted earnings were $4.35 per share, down 11.8% year over year. The bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.29.

Operating revenues of about $12 billion for 2021 inched down 0.2% year over year but marginally beat the consensus estimate.

Capital Management

As of Dec 31, 2021, the weighted average risk-based capital ratio for Unum Group’s traditional U.S. insurance companies was approximately 395%.

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

Book value per share of Unum Group improved 5.6% year over year to $56.37 as of Dec 31, 2021.

Unum bought back 1.9 million shares for $50 million in the fourth quarter.

Zacks Rank

Unum Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Insurers

Of the insurance industry players that have reported fourth-quarter results so far, The Travelers Companies (TRV - Free Report) , RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (RNR - Free Report) and The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings.

Travelers’ core income of $5.20 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.86 and increased 6% year over year. Total revenues rose 7% to about $9 billion and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.7 billion.

Travelers’ net written premiums increased 10% year over year to a record $8 billion. The combined ratio deteriorated 130 bps year over year to 88.

RenaissanceRe’s operating earnings per share of $4.71 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 27% and rebounded from the year-ago loss of $1.59 per share. Total revenues of $1.39 billion dipped 0.1% year over year.

RenaissanceRe’s gross premiums written surged 40.4% year over year to $1.3 billion. The combined ratio improved 3530 bps year over year to 79.4.

Progressive’s earnings per share of $1.05 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 99 cents but declined 43.2% from the year-ago quarter.

Progressive’s net premiums written were $10.7 billion in the quarter, up 13% from $9.5 billion a year ago. The combined ratio deteriorated 630 bps from the prior-year quarter to 94.7.