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Unum Group (UNM) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, View Intact

Unum Group’s UNM operating net income of 95 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents. The bottom line improved 6.7% year over year.

Strong performance at Unum U.S. and Unum U.K. were partially offset by a soft performing Colonial Life. The quarter witnessed strong premium improvement with a stable benefits experience.

Including net realized investment loss and non-operating retirement-related loss of 7 cents combined, the company’s net income of 88 cents per share was up 4.8% year over year.

Total revenue of Unum Group improved about 3% year over year to $2.8 billion. Revenues were almost in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Quarterly Segment Update

Unum U.S.: Premium income was $1.3 billion, up 5.8% year over year. Operating income was $215.9 million, up 0.7% year over year.

Unum U.K.: Premium income increased 0.2% year over year to $139.3 million. In local currency, income improved 6.1% year over year to £97.3 million.

Operating income was $33.6 million, down 3.1% year over year. In local currency, the figure came in at £23.5 million, up 9.3% year over year.

Benefit ratio was 67.9%, up 260 basis points (bps). A higher benefit ratio reflects higher incidence and average claim size in the group life line. However, lower average size of new claims in the group long-term disability line was a partial dampener.

Colonial Life: Premium income increased 5.7% year over year to $351.2 million on sales growth. Operating income decreased 0.3% to $77.4 million.

Benefit ratio decreased 40 bps year over year to 50.9%. This primarily reflects favorable experience in the accident, sickness, disability product line and critical illness product line.

Closed Block: Premium income fell 3% from the year-ago quarter. The decline stemmed from expected policy terminations and maturities for the individual disability line of business.

Operating income came in at $33.7 million, up 26% year over year.

Corporate: The segment reported an operating loss of $31.8 million, wider than operating loss of $29.9 million in the year-ago quarter due to lower investment income.

Capital Management

As of Mar 31, 2016, the weighted average risk-based capital for Unum’s traditional U.S. insurance companies was nearly 390%. Unum exited the quarter with cash and marketable securities worth $478 million.

Book value per share of Unum increased 7.7% year over year to $37.52 as of Mar 31, 2016.

The company spent $100 million on buying back 3.7 million shares in the quarter.

Guidance

Unum Group continues to expect 2016 operating earnings to grow in the 3–6% band over the 2015 level.

Zacks Rank

Unum presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Performance of Other Stocks

The bottom line at Aflac Inc. AFL, Employers Holdings, Inc. EIG and Amerisafe, Inc. AMSF outperformed their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate in the first quarter.

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