ProAssurance Corporation’s (PRA - Free Report) third-quarter 2018 operating earnings per share of 42 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5%, primarily driven by higher premiums in all the segments. However, the bottom line declined 6.7% year over year.
Quarterly operating revenues of ProAssurance grew 5.5% to $229 million from the prior-year quarter’s level on the back of higher premiums. Also, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7%.
Quarterly Operational Update
Gross premiums written increased 5.8% year over year to $259 million, primarily banking on higher premiums across Specialty P&C Insurance, Lloyd's Syndicates and Workers' Compensation segments. Moreover, net premiums earned rose 5.8% year over year.
Net investment income dipped nearly 2% year over year to $23 million.
Total expenses escalated 12.8% year over year to $218 million. This rise in costs mainly stemmed from higher net loss and loss adjustment expenses as well as underwriting, policy acquisition and operating costs.
Quarterly Segment Results
Specialty P&C Insurance Segment
Total revenues of $122 million improved 3.1% year over year.
Gross premiums written were $167 million, up 0.8% from the year-ago quarter’s figure.
Total expenses of $126 million mounted 26.6% year over year, primarily due to net loss and loss adjustment expenses.
Workers' Compensation Segment
Total revenues of $47 million rose 13.3% year over year, courtesy of higher premiums.
Gross premiums written were $65 million, up 9.8% over the year-earlier period’s number.
Total expenses of $46 million increased 12.4% year over year.
Lloyd's Syndicate Segment
Total revenues of $20 million surged 34.8% year over year.
Gross premiums written were $26 million, up 25.8% from the figure acquired in comparable quarter last year.
Total expenses of $18 million reduced 32% year over year.
Total revenues of $39 million grew 11.8% year over year.
Operating expenses of $5 million inched up 1.3% over the prior-year quarter’s level. Interest expense of $3.6 million declined 11.6% year over year.
As of Sep 30, 2018, ProAssurance’s total investments were $3.3 billion, down 8.2% from the number registered at year-end 2017.
At third-quarter end, the company’s total assets were $4.7 billion, down 5.6% from the count at 2017 end.
As of Sep 30, 2018, the insurer’s shareholder equity slipped 0.5% to $1.6 billion from the tally as of Dec 31, 2017.
Share Repurchase & Dividend Update
The company did not buy back any shares in the reported quarter. As of Oct 31, 2018, it has approximately $110 million of shares available under its board-authorized stock repurchase program.
In September 2018, the company’s board members approved a regular dividend of 31 cents, paid in October.
Notably, within a span of almost 11 years, the company has been able to return more than $2 billion to its shareholders through regular and special dividends.
ProAssurance 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
Among other players from the insurance industry having already reported second-quarter earnings, the bottom line of The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) and MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate while RLI Corp.’s (RLI - Free Report) metric missed the same.
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