Travelers Beats Profit Expectations, While Revenue Falls Shy

Travelers Companies Inc. reported Thursday fourth-quarter earnings that fell to $866 million, or $2.83 a share, from $1.04 billion, or $3.11 a share, in the same period a year ago. Operating earnings per share came to $2.90. The FactSet EPS consensus was $2.67. Total revenue fell 2% to $6.67 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $6.79 billion. Net premiums were little changed at $5.86 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $5.94 billion. The insurer said earnings declined from a year ago due primarily to the impact of low interest rates and lower energy prices. "Underwriting results for both the quarter and the year, which were strong across all of our businesses, continued to benefit from our superior execution in risk selection and pricing, as well as lower than expected catastrophe losses," said Chief Executive Alan Schnitzer. The stock, which edged up 0.7% in light premarket trade, has lost 6.4% over the past three months while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 8.2%.

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