Brown & Brown 3Q profit up on higher commissions

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Insurance broker Brown & Brown Inc. said Tuesday its third-quarter net income rose 12 percent, boosted by a jump in commissions and fees.

The Daytona Beach, Fla.-based company said it earned $49.5 million, or 34 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That's up from $44.2 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The profit fell a penny short of average Wall Street predictions of 35 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $303.8 million, from $260.4 million last year, below analysts' expectations for $311.1 million.

Commissions and fees increased nearly 18 percent to $302.3 million, while investment income dropped 25 percent to $239,000 and other income dropped 57 percent to $1.3 million.

Brown & Brown said its retail division continued to grow, which could mean that economic conditions are improving for its clients.

Brown & Brown shares rose 5 cents to $26.35 in premarket trading. The stock has traded between $17.83 and $28.17 in the past 52 weeks, and is up 16 percent since the start of the year.