Allstate Crushes Estimates on Lower Disasters

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Allstate Corp blew past Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, more than doubling its profits as the largest listed home and auto insurer in the United States benefited from lower catastrophe losses and better results in its homeowners business.

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Allstate reported a fourth quarter net profit of $724 million, or $1.43 per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $296 million or 55 cents per share.

Operating earnings of $1.48 compared with a Wall Street consensus estimate of 95 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Allstate said catastrophe losses came to $66 million in the quarter after the favorable effect of reserve releases, against losses of $537 million a year earlier.

Over the last year, Allstate has been trying to raise prices in home and auto lines, while at the same time writing less business in certain markets where it is less profitable.

Allstate said auto net written premiums fell slightly, as it continued to cut unprofitable business in New York and Florida, while net written premiums in homeowners rose as higher premiums offset a decline in policies in force.

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Its shares rose 2.4 percent to $30.01 in after-hours trading following the report The shares closed 1.6 percent higher at $29.31