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Kemper (KMPR) Reports Loss in Q1; Revenues Top Estimates

Kemper Corp. KMPR reported first-quarter 2016 net operating loss of 1 cent per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was of an income of 5 cents. The company had posted an operating income of 42 cents in last year.

Excluding extraordinary items, reported net loss was 4 cents per share. The company had posted a net income of 26 cents per share in the first quarter of 2015.

The deterioration was primarily attributable to higher catastrophe losses and underperformance of Alliance United (acquired by the company), partially offset by deferred profit reserve adjustment.

Total revenue increased 22% year over year to $611.3 million due to higher premiums earned in the Property and Casualty segment. The top line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $592 million by 3.2%.

Total earned premiums rose 26.6% to $546 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Net investment income declined 5.4% to $67 million due to weak performance of the alternative investments portfolio. Net realized gains on Sales of Investments doubled to $4.4 million year on year.

Total expenses increased 28.3% to $617.8 million due to higher loss adjustment expenses.

Segment Update

Property & Casualty Insurance segment reported total revenue of $408.3 million, up 34.9% year on year. Earned premiums increased 37.8% to $396.2 million due to higher Personal Automobile premiums. This segment includes the impact of the performance of Alliance United, which was acquired by Kemper on Apr 30. 2015.

The segment reported a net operating loss of $13.1 million mainly due to catastrophe losses of $17.7 million and adverse development from Alliance United’s results worth $4.2 million. The segment had recorded an operating income of $13.4 million in the year ago period.

Life & Health Insurance segment’s total revenue increased 5.4% year on year to $205 million. Earned premiums inched up 4.2% to 149.8 million. The segment reported an operating income of $20.3 million, up 26.1% year on year. Notably, Kemper had made a pretax adjustment of $7.6 million to deferred premium reserves in the prior-year quarter. This supported earnings growth in this quarter.

Financial Update

As of Mar 31, 2016, Kemper held an investment portfolio worth $6.6 billion, which improved 2.4% from year-end 2015. Cash remained almost flat at $160.4 and total assets improved by 1.7% to $8.2 billion from the end of 2015. Even shareholders’ equity improved by 2.4% to $2 billion year on year.

Reported book value per share of $39.92 improved 2.8% in the first quarter from $38.82 at the end of 2015. However, excluding net unrealized gains on fixed maturities, book value per share marginally declined to $34.97 from $35.13 as of Dec 31, 2015.

Share Repurchase and Dividend Update

Kemper returned $16 million to shareholders in the first quarter. The company repurchased 0.14 million shares worth $3.8 million at $27.13 per share.

Kemper paid dividends worth $12.2 million in the reported quarter.

On May 4, the company’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 24 cents per share, which is payable of May 31 to shareholders on record as of May 16, 2016.

Zacks Rank & Performance of Other Insurers

Kemper currently carries Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). The bottom line at RLI Corp. RLI outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while Travelers Companies Inc. TRV and Progressive Corp PGR missed the same during the first quarter.

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RLI CORP (RLI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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