Insurer Hanover beats on lower catastrophe losses
* Q2 segment income/shr $0.22 vs est $0.19
* Q2 net premiums written $1.2 bln, up 47 pct
Aug 1 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Hanover Insurance Group Inc posted a quarterly profit above Wall Street estimates for the fourth straight time on lower catastrophe losses and higher premiums.
The 160-year old company, which insured U.S. ships carrying cargo across the Atlantic during the World War I, earned $20.8 million, or 46 cents per share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $32.2 million, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.
Segment income, which excludes certain investment gains and losses, was $22 per share, above analysts' average estimate of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net premiums written jumped 47 percent to $1.2 billion.
Catastrophe losses fell to $74.1 million for the second quarter from $156.7 million in the year ago period, which witnessed severe spring storms in the United States and a devastating earthquake in New Zealand.
Chaucer made a strong contribution to earnings, delivering pre-tax segment income of $88 million.
Hanover completed the acquisition of Lloyd's of London insurer Chaucer in July last year after agreeing to buy it for 292 million pounds ($474 million) in April.
The company, which provided auto insurance to legendary baseball player Babe Ruth, earned $68.5 million from its investments, compared to $61 million, a year earlier.
Hanover's shares, which have fallen more than 10 percent in the last month, closed at $34.47 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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