Allstate profit beats estimates on higher premiums

Wed May 1, 2013 5:15pm EDT

(Reuters) - Home and auto insurer Allstate Corp's (ALL.N) quarterly profit beat Wall Street estimates as rate hikes allowed the company to earn more from premiums.

Allstate, the largest publicly traded home and auto insurer in the United States, earned $1.35 per share on an operating basis in the first quarter. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.30 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said earlier this month its first-quarter disaster losses were $359 million, higher than the $259 million it reported in the same quarter a year earlier.

Net income fell to $709 million, or $1.47 cents per share, from $766 million, or $1.53 cents per share.

"Property-liability net written premium increased in each of our brands with the total growing 2.5 percent over the prior year quarter," Chief Executive Thomas Wilson said in a statement.

Underlying combined ratio, the percentage of premium revenue an insurer has to pay out in claims, was down slightly at 87.7 percent.

Allstate shares were slightly up at $48.62 in extended trading after closing at $48.40 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Anil D'Silva and Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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