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Major P&C Insurers Q1 Earnings Reporting on May 4: ALL, CB

We are almost midway through the first-quarter earnings season with more than 209 companies in the S&P universe having reported already, as per our Earnings Trends. Total earnings of these members declined 5.5% year over year on 1.6% lower revenues. Nonetheless, the beat ratio is 75.6% for the bottom line and 56% for the top line.

Coming to the Finance sector, about 54.5% of the companies have already reported their results. Though the top line has so far managed to beat expectations, the bottom line has failed to live up to expectations. Also, total earnings have declined 5% year over year on 4.2% lower revenues.

The property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry is part of the broader Finance sector. Let’s see what factors might influence its results this earnings season.

Though the first quarter escaped violent weather events, catastrophes were not ruled out. The effect has clearly hurt insurers’ performances. Primarily, hailstorms in Texas through Florida weighed on underwriting results. However, the effect was not as severe as to drain out insurers’ reserves. Also, solid underwriting practices’ better pricing have supported P&C insurers to withstand the impact of loss. Insurers have likely experienced higher levels of retention and added business volumes.

On the other hand, a still soft interest environment should keep investment results under pressure. Nonetheless, broader asset base, alternative asset classes and improving equity market conditions may bring some respite.

Let’s find out what’s in store for these major property and casualty insurers that will report first-quarter earnings on May 4.

The Allstate Corporation ALL is the second-largest property-casualty insurer and the largest publicly held personal lines carrier in the U.S. The company also provides a range of life insurance and investment products to its diverse customer base. The company delivered a +20.30% surprise last quarter. For the first quarter, Allstate has an http://www.zacks.com/earnings/earnings-surprise-predictions/">Earnings ESP of -3.49% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 86 cents.

Esurance and Allstate Benefits are likely to show improvement in the first quarter. Also, pricing discipline, strong claim management and strategic acquisitions are likely to drive results in the Property-Liability segment. Initiatives to lower expenses and share buybacks should drive results. However, the adverse impact of catastrophe loss, stemming from hailstorms, on Allstate’s underwriting results is estimated at $538 million. (Read more: Allstate Cat Loss Threatens Q1 Earnings: Stock at Risk)

With respect to the surprise trend, Allstate surpassed expectations in three of the last four quarters, resulting in an average positive surprise of 1.88%.

Chubb Limited CB boasts being one of the world’s largest providers of P&C insurance and reinsurance. The company delivered a 4.39% positive surprise in the last quarter. For the first quarter of 2016, Chubb has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $2.20.

Chubb’s results are likely to benefit from its strong organic and inorganic growth profile. This in turn should drive return on equity. However, a soft interest rate environment may keep results under pressure. Exposure to cat loss can also dampen underwriting results. (Read more: Will Q1 Earnings Hold a Surprise for Chubb Stock?)

With respect to the surprise trend, Chubb beat expectations in three of the last four quarters, with an average negative surprise of 2.41%.

Keep an eye on our full earnings articles to see how these S&P 500 members finally fared.

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CHUBB LTD (CB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ALLSTATE CORP (ALL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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