ProAssurance 2nd-qtr beats on lower expenses

Mon Aug 6, 2012 4:46pm EDT

* Second-quarter operating EPS $1.92 vs est $1.52

* Second-quarter net investment income down 5 pct

* Second-quarter total expenses down 14 pct

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer ProAssurance Corp posted a second-quarter profit above analysts' expectations, aided by a fall in expenses.

Net income for the quarter rose to $58.5 million, or $1.89 per share, from $55.1 million, or $1.79 per share, last year.

Operating profit was $1.92 per share.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.52 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net investment income fell 5 percent to $34.5 million.

Net premiums earned declined 4 percent to $131.3 million.

The company's expenses fell about 14 percent to $84.3 million.

ProAssurance said combined ratio, the percentage of premium revenue an insurer has to pay out in claims and expenses, was 63.4 percent, compared with 71 percent a year earlier.

Shares of the Birmingham, Alabama-based company closed at $90.56 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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