Bloomberg News

Unum Falls as Profit Declines, CEO Forecasts Challenges

November 02, 2011

(Updates with stock price in the second paragraph.)

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Unum Group, the largest U.S. long- term disability insurer, posted the biggest decline in the 81- company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index after reporting lower-than-estimated earnings and predicting future “challenges.”

Third-quarter net income decreased 6.9 percent to $205.6 from $220.8 million, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company said late yesterday in a statement. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was 74 cents a share, missing by 1 cent the average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Unum fell 74 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $22.08 in New York trading.

Unum had $15.9 million in investment losses, compared with $0.9 million in gains last year, according to the statement. Operating profit in the U.S. group-disability segment, decreased to $72.1 million from $77.8 million in the year-earlier period as premium income fell.

“Looking ahead, the combination of weak employment growth and low interest rates will continue to create challenges for us,” Thomas R. Watjen, president and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

--Editors: William Ahearn, Dan Kraut

To contact the reporter on this story: Maryellen Tighe in New York at mtighe6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net


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