Higher Rates, Drop in Disaster Losses Lift Travelers Earnings

The Travelers Companies
Source: Travelers | Twitter

Travelers posted a higher first-quarter profit, helped by a decline in natural disaster losses and rising insurance rates.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Travelers.)

The company posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of $2.33 per share, up from $2.01 a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased to $5.597 billion from $5.50 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $2.02 a share on $5.62 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Travelers also raised its quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share from 46 cents per share.

The company was able to keep rates consistent in all business lines and retain customers, a strong sign for the rest of the industry. Travelers has been a bellwether of insurers' ability to raise prices, after years of weakness in the market.

Pre-tax catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance, were $99 million in the quarter, down from $168 million in the year-ago quarter.

Reuters contributed to this report.