Travelers Profit Disappoints, Revenues Boost Shares

Travelers Companies reported quarterly earnings which missed Wall Street's expectations on Thursday, but better-than-expected revenues sent its shares higher in premarket trading.

Travelers Logo
Travelers Logo

Following the earnings release, the insurance company's shares rose 1 percent before the opening bell. (Get real-time quotes for Travelers here.)

The company posted second-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.26 cents per share, upfrom a loss of 91 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose percent to $6.36 billion from $5.82 billion a year ago.

The insurer's catastrophe losses fell from a year before but were still higher than historical


But Travelers, a Dow component, also said commercial insurance pricing rose more than 7 percent in the quarter. The company was one of the first in the industry to push and sustain price increases after years of weakness.

Last year marked a turning point, as the industry suffered one of its worst years ever, driven domestically by record-breaking tornadoes. This year has been somewhat more mild, and Travelers said after-tax catastrophe losses fell to $357 million from $1.09 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $1.35 a share on $5.95 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. Because Travelers does not make forecasts, it is customary for the company's earnings to differ substantially from Wall Street estimates. Over the prior eight quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data, the average difference (either positive or negative) between the company's actual result and the mean estimate was almost 24 cents. Travelers is the first major insurance company to report earnings this quarter.

In late June, Travelers reported that it would pay $10.5 million in refunds and penalties for violations of California insurance law in 2006.

In the previous quarter, Travelers beat expectations but profits fell by nearly 4 percent. Net income fell to $806 million in the first quarter compared to $839 million a year ago.