Auto insurance giant Progressive (PGR) reported on Wednesday a 6% improvement in net premiums written during February, lifting its shares to a new 52-week high.

However its net income was down 7% to $106.3 million, or 17 cents a share, from $114.1 million a year ago.

The car insurer said it wrote $1.38 billion in premiums in February, up from $1.3 billion a year ago, and earned $1.19 billion in premiums, up 5% from $1.13 billion in 2011.

Total personal lines grew 6% while total commercial auto edged up 1%.

Pretax gains on securities climbed 25% to $29.4 million.

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