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Progressive (PGR) Q3 Earnings Top Estimates on Solid Revenues

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The Progressive Corporation’s (PGR - Free Report) third-quarter 2018 operating earnings per share of $1.32 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.14. The bottom line skyrocketed about 178% year over year.

The Progressive Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Behind the Headlines

Progressive recorded net premiums written of $8.6 billion in the quarter under review, up 20% from $7.1 billion in the year-ago period. Also, net premiums earned grew 21% year over year to $7.9 billion from $6.5 billion a year ago.

Net realized gains on securities were $182.4 million, reversing the year-ago loss of $24.7 million in the year-earlier quarter. Combined ratio — percentage of premiums paid out as claims and expenses — improved 710 basis points (bps) from the prior-year quarter’s level to 90.3%.

Numbers in September 2018

Operating revenues rose 21.7% year over year to $2.6 billion. This top-line growth was driven by 56.1% higher investment income, 20.9% rise in premiums earned, 38% rise in service revenues and 18% higher fees as well as other revenues.

Total expense increased 9.3% to nearly $2.3 billion. This upside can be primarily attributed to 5% wider loss and loss adjustment expenses, 21.8% increase in policy acquisition costs and 26.2% higher other underwriting expenses.

In September, policies in force were impressive at the Personal Auto segment, having improved 15% from last September’s tally to 13.1 million. Special Lines inched up 1% from the prior-year month’s figure to 4.4 million.

In Progressive’s Personal Auto segment, Direct Auto grew 17% year over year to 6.9 million while Agency Auto improved 13% year over year to 6.2 million.

Progressive’s Commercial Auto segment rose 8% year over year to 0.7 million. The Property business had about 1.9 million policies in force in the reported month, up 36% year over year.

Progressive’s book value per share was $19.49 as of Sep 30, 2018, up 22% from $15.97 as of Sep 30, 2017.

Return-on-equity on a trailing 12-month basis was 27.1%, having expanded 870 bps from 18.4% in September 2017. Debt-to-total capital ratio improved 170 bps year over year to 24.6% as of Jun 30, 2018.

Zacks Rank

Progressive carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Insurance Stocks Worth a Look

Investors interested in other top-ranked stocks from the same space can also consider Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF - Free Report) , Markel Corporation (MKL - Free Report) and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Cincinnati Financial will report third-quarter 2018 earnings on Oct 25 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same period is pegged at 78 cents per share, reflecting a year-over-year surge of 34.5%.

Markel is slated to announce third-quarter 2018 earnings on Oct 24 and the consensus estimate for the same time frame stands at $8.99 per share, registering a year-over-year rise of 14.8%.

Berkshire Hathaway is set to release third-quarter 2018 earnings on Nov 2 and the consensus mark for the quarter to be reported is projected at $2.47 per share, representing year-over-year growth of 76.4%.

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