Travelers 2Q Trails View on Disaster Bill

By FOXBusiness

Hit by above-average catastrophe losses, insurance giant Travelers Cos (NYSE:TRV) swung to a weaker-than-expected second-quarter profit of nearly $500 million on Thursday.

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Despite the earnings miss, shares of the blue-chip insurer ticked just slightly lower.

New York-based Travelers logged a net profit of $499 million, or $1.26 a share, last quarter, compared with a loss of $364 million, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, the company earned $495 million, or $1.26 a share, last quarter. Analysts had been calling for stronger EPS of $1.35.

Severe storms in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic last month helped contribute to $357 million in catastrophe losses last quarter. That figure was above historical norms but down sharply from a record $1.1 billion in disaster claims a year earlier amid devastating tornadoes.

Travelers said the catastrophe losses from last quarter stemmed from wind and hail storms in several parts of the U.S.

Earnings were “impacted by weather-related losses which, while much lower than in the prior year quarter, were considerably higher than we would have expected based on historical experience,” CEO Jay Fishman said in a statement.

Travelers said net written premiums rose 1% last quarter to $5.87 billion and renewal rates increased across all segments.

Shares of Travelers, which have rallied about 8% so far this year, dipped 0.17% to $63.89.