TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services (IAG.TO) rallied as much as 6 percent on Wednesday after the life insurer, Canada's fourth largest, reported a stronger than expected quarterly profit.
The company, the first of Canada's large life insurers to report third-quarter results, said net income attributed to common shareholders was C$105.8 million ($101.28 million), or C$1.07 a share, for the quarter ended September 30.
That compared with a year-earlier profit of C$103.3 million, or C$1.09 a share, when Industrial Alliance's results were boosted by an after-tax gain of C$37.4 million on the sale of the company's U.S. annuities business.
The profit beat analysts' estimates of 85 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"(The results) were materially ahead of expectations," RBC Capital Markets analyst Andre-Philippe Hardy said in a note, pointing to the impact of stronger equity markets, hedging results and individual insurance gains.
The shares jumped by as much as 6 percent to a record high of C$49.99 in early trading, before paring gains to a 2.1 percent rise to C$48.15 late in the morning.
Premiums and deposits were C$1.6 billion, about even from the year-earlier period, while assets under management and administration climbed 7 percent to C$89 billion, the company said.
Larger competitor Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) will report results after the market close on Wednesday, while Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Great-West Lifeco (GWO.TO) release their results on Thursday.
Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway