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Progressive's February Earnings Decrease, Revenues Rise Y/Y

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The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) reported earnings per share of 11 cents for February 2020, which decreased 80% year over year, primarily due to higher expenses.

In the past year, shares of Progressive have rallied 6.8% against the industry’s decrease of 15.9%. Sustained solid operational results drove the outperformance.

February Results

Progressive’s net premiums written were $3.4 billion, up 10% year over year. Net premiums earned were $2.9 billion, up 12% year over year.

Net realized loss on securities was $257 million, deteriorating from gain of $109.9 million earned in the year-ago month.

Combined ratio — percentage of premiums paid out as claims and expenses — improved 60 basis points (bps) year over year to 90.3%.

Total operating revenues came in at $3.1 billion. The top line improved 11.8% year over year owing to 12.1% increase in premiums, 23.2% growth in fees and other revenues and 30% rise in service revenues.

Total expenses shot up 11.6% to $2.7 billion. This increase can be primarily attributed to 11.2% higher losses and loss adjustment expenses, 10.9% rise in policy acquisition costs and 14% increase in other underwriting expenses.

In February, policies in force were impressive in both Vehicle and Property businesses. In its vehicle business, Personal Auto segment improved 11% year over year to nearly 15.2 million. Special Lines increased 4% from the year-earlier month to 4.6 million policies.

In Progressive’s Personal Auto segment, Agency Auto expanded 10% to 7.1 million while Direct Auto increased 13% to nearly 8.1 million.

Progressive’s Commercial Auto segment rose 9% year over year to 0.8 million. The Property business had about nearly 2.2 million policies in force in the reported month, up 13% year over year.

Progressive’s book value per share was $23.85 as of Feb 28, 2020, up nearly 24% from $19.24 as of Feb 28, 2019.

Return on equity in the trailing 12 months was 32.8%, up 400 bps from 28.8% in February 2019. Debt-to-total-capital ratio improved 390 bps year over year to 23.4% as of Feb 28, 2019.

Zacks Rank and Other Key Insurers

Progressive currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked property and casualty insurance stocks are Donegal Group, Inc. (DGICA - Free Report) , CNA Financial Corporation (CNA - Free Report) and First American Financial Corporation (FAF - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Donegal Group, CNA Financial and First American Financial each surpassed estimates in the last four quarters, the positive surprise being 271.06%, 9.39% and 17.68%, respectively, on average.

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