The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. HIG reported third-quarter 2019 adjusted operating earnings of $1.50 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19% on higher revenues and its Commercial Lines business. The bottom line also improved 30.4% year over year. Total operating revenues of $5.2 billion were up 9.5% year over year on the back of its Commercial Lines business. Quarterly Segment Results Property & Casualty (P&C) Commercial Line During the quarter under review, the segment’s total revenues were $2.6 billion, up 26% year over year. Net income of $336 million rose 16% year over year owing better new investment income, increased net realized capital gains and a better underwriting gain. Core earnings of $303 million increased 14% over the prior-year quarter’s level on higher underwriting gain, net investment income, etc. The segment’s underlying combined ratio was 93.9%, expanding 20 basis points (bps) in the quarter under review. Current accident year catastrophe loss came in at $3.3 million, down 37.7% year over year. Personal Lines Total revenues were $890 million, down 4% year over year. Net income of $94 million generated soared 84% from the year-ago figure, driven by lower current accident year catastrophe losses, higher net investment income and better net realized capital gains. Core earnings of $87 million also surged 85% year over year, driven by underwriting gain, net investment income and new business premiums. Underlying combined ratio of the segment expanded 50 bps to 92.3% in the quarter under review due to higher expense ratio. P&C Other Ops Revenues grossed $25 million, flat year over year. Group Benefits Group Benefits’ total revenues of $1.5 billion inched up 0.5% year over year. Net income of $146 million was up 90% year over year. Core earnings of $141 million in the third quarter were up 38% year over year. This upside is attributable to lower disability loss ratio. Total loss ratio of 71.1% improved 440 bps from the year-earlier quarter as lower group disability loss ratio was offset by higher group life loss ratio. Hartford Funds Hartford Funds’ operating revenues were $256 million, down 4.5% year over year. Hartford Financial reported net income of $40 million and core earnings of $39 million, respectively down 2.6% and 5.4% year over year, primarily due to lower investment management fee revenues on account of fee reductions and a shift to lower fee funds. Average AUM was $120 billion, flat with the year-ago quarter’s figure. Corporate Operating revenues rose 22.5% to $25 million. The segment’s core losses of $37 million were narrower than the $45-million loss incurred in the prior-year quarter. This was mainly on the back of increased earnings from the retained equity interest. The segment’s net loss of $99 million was wider than the year-ago quarter’s loss of $35 million.
Financial Update Book value per share as of Sep 30, 2019 was up 23% to $43.13 from the level as of Dec 31, 2018. Core earnings’ return on equity rose 200 bps to 12.3%. Zacks Rank and Performance of Other Insurers Hartford Financial has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Among other players from the insurance industry, having reported third-quarter earnings so far, the bottom-line results of The Progressive Corporation ( PGR Quick Quote PGR - Free Report) , MGIC Investment Corporation MTG and RLI Corp. RLI outpaced the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020. Click here for the 6 trades >>