Chubb Corp. (CB:US), the insurer of commercial property and high-end homes, rose the most in nine months after profit beat analysts’ estimates (CB:US) and the company boosted its outlook for the second half.
Chubb advanced 4 percent to close at $72.32 in New York, the most since Oct. 21. The insurer has gained 4.5 percent this year, compared with a 1.8 percent rise in the 24-company KBW Insurance Index. (KIX)
Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was $1.37 a share, the company said yesterday in a statement, beating the $1.15 average estimate (CB:US) of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer John Finnegan is raising rates and culling unprofitable lines as near record-low bond yields pressure investment income.
“This quarter may have marked Chubb taking over the baton of pricing leader,” Josh Stirling, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said in a note today. “The company’s momentum continued to accelerate to levels modestly beyond Travelers own substantial price-taking.”
Chubb lifted its full-year guidance for per-share operating income to a range of $5.70 to $5.95. That compares with a projection of $5.30 to $5.70 in January.
Net income fell 3.6 percent to $404 million as investment income declined, the firm said. Travelers Cos. posted a profit of $499 million last week as natural disasters cost less than last year.
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