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XL Group (XL) Misses on Q1 Earnings, Revenue Estimates

XL Group plc XL reported first-quarter 2016 operating net income of 35 cents per share that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 28.6%. Also, earnings plummeted 53.3% year over year due to escalating expenses and higher catastrophe losses.

Moreover, upon including non-recurring items, net income plunged 50% year over year to 7 cents per share.

Behind the Headlines

Total revenue of XL Group soared 61.6% year over year to $2.5 billion. Higher premiums earned drove the upside. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.7 billion by 7.4%.

Net premiums earned surged nearly 76.5% year over year to $2.4 billion.

Net investment income was $164.3 million, up 3.9% year over year.

Pre-tax cat losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, came in at $52.8 million, significantly higher than $14.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Total adjusted expenses of XL Group increased 73% year over year to $2.3 billion owing to higher net losses and loss expenses incurred in property and casualty (P&C) operations. Higher acquisition costs, interest expenses, and operating expenses also contributed to the increase in total expense.

With respect to P&C operations, gross premiums written in the quarter soared 75.7% year over year to $4.4 billion largely due to accretion from Catlin acquisition.

Growth in insurance and reinsurance premiums was primarily driven by the combination with Catlin. However, adverse foreign exchange impacts, continued rate pressures and selected discontinued lines, offset the segment’s business growth. Nevertheless, the reinsurance segment witnessed new business across all regions, in particular EMEA.

 XL Group’s underwriting profit jumped 19.5% year over year to $175.5 million. Combined ratio deteriorated 360 basis points to 92.5% in the reported quarter.

Financial Update

XL Group exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $2.8 billion, down 13.4% from $3.3 billion at the end of 2015.

Notes payable and debt at the end of the quarter inched up 0.3% to $2.7 billion from the 2015-end level of $2.6 billion.

Book value of XL Group as of Mar 31, 2016 was $40.33 per share, up 3.5% from Dec 31, 2015.

Share Repurchase Update    

XL Group bought back approximately 10 million shares worth $355.1 million during the reported quarter. As of Mar 31, 2016 XL Group had  $348.2 million worth remained available for purchase under the share buyback program.

Zacks Rank and Performance of Other P&C Insurers

XL Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some other P&C insurers too recently released their first-quarter earnings results. While the bottom line at RLI Corp. RLI and First American Financial Corporation FAF beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate, Progressive Corp. PGR missed the same in the first quarter.

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RLI CORP (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report
XL GROUP PLC (XL): Free Stock Analysis Report
PROGRESSIVE COR (PGR): Free Stock Analysis Report
FIRST AMER FINL (FAF): Free Stock Analysis Report
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