Chubb Limited ( CB Quick Quote CB - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 core operating income of $2.28 per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.6%. This upside was driven by higher premium revenues. The bottom line also improved 12.9% from the year-ago quarter. Quarter in Detail Net premiums written improved 9% year over year to $7.9 billion in the quarter. Net premiums earned rose 6.3% to $7.9 billion. Net investment income was $858 million, up 1.2%. Property and casualty (P&C) underwriting income was $533 million, up 12% from the year-ago quarter. Global P&C underwriting income excluding Agriculture was $556 million, up 76.3%. Chubb incurred after-tax catastrophe loss of $353 million in the fourth quarter, plunging 30.2% year over year.
Segmental Update North America Commercial P&C Insurance: Net premiums written increased 9.4% year over year to $3.4 billion. Combined ratio contracted 870 bps to 82.6%. North America Personal P&C Insurance: Net premiums written climbed 9.2% year over year to $1.1 billion. Combined ratio expanded 580 bps to 99.6%. North America Agricultural Insurance: Net premiums written improved 40.4% from the year-ago quarter to $276 million. Combined ratio expanded 5590 bps to 105.4%. Overseas General Insurance: Net premiums written rose 6.3% year over year to $2.3 billion. Combined ratio expanded 100 bps to 93.1%. Global Reinsurance: Net premiums written declined 6% from the year-ago quarter to $109 million. Combined ratio of 94.6% contracted 7230 bps. Life Insurance: Net premiums written were up 6.9% year over year to $622 million on the back of growth in the Asian international life operations. Financial Update Cash balance of $1.5 billion as of Dec 31, 2019 augmented 23.3% from the 2018-end level. Total shareholders’ equity increased 10% from the level at 2018 end to $55.3 billion as of Dec 31, 2019. Book value per share as of Dec 31, 2019 was up 11.7% from the figure as of Dec 31, 2018. Core operating ROE was 7.9%. Operating cash flow was $1.4 billion in the quarter under consideration. Share Repurchase Update In the quarter, the company bought back shares worth $310 million. Full-Year Update Core operating income of the year came in at $10.11 for 2019, up 7.1% year over year. P&C net premiums written were $29.9 billion, up 5.6% year over year. Zacks Rank Chubb 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 reported fourth-quarter earnings so far, the bottom-line results of Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO and RLI Corp. RLI beat estimates while that of Principal Financial PFG came in line. Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity. A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 8 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time. See 8 breakthrough stocks now>>