Insurer Hanover beats on lower catastrophe losses

Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:19pm EDT

* 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.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article