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CNA Financial (CNA) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates; Down Y/Y

CNA Financial Corporation CNA reported first-quarter 2016 operating income of 64 cents per share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents by 6.7%. Including retro reinsurance charge, the company reported operating income of 34 cents per share, which plunged 59% year over year.

Including net realized investment losses, net loss came in at 24 cents per share, down 72.1% from the year-ago quarter.

Behind the First-Quarter Headlines

Net investment income declined 20.1% year over year to $315 million due to lower limited partnership investments.

Net written premiums at Property & Casualty Operations dipped 0.1% year over year to $1.7 billion. Net operating income plunged 21.6% year over year to $207 million due to lower net investment income, partially offset by improved underwriting results. Combined ratio improved 280 basis points to 96.1% on a year-over-year basis.

Book value (excluding AOCI) as of Mar 31, 2016 was $42.61 per share, down 4.6% from Dec 31, 2015.

Segment Results

Specialty
net written premiums decreased 2.0% year over year to $684 million. While retention was 87% in the reported quarter, average rate for the policies were also up 1% year over year. Combined ratio improved 520 basis points (bps) to 89.4%.

Commercial net written premiums dipped 1.4% year over year to $748 million. While retention was 83%, average rate for the policies remained flat year over year. Combined ratio improved 140 bps to 101.9%.

International net written premiums rose 11.3% year over year to $236 million. The company achieved retention of 77%, average rate on policies renewed remained flat. Combined ratio deteriorated 70 bps to 99.0%.

Life & Group Non-Core operating revenues decreased 2.5% year over year to $318 million. Net operating loss narrowed to $2 million from the year-ago loss of $17 million.
 
Corporate & Other Non-Core
net operating loss widened to $114 million from $22 million loss in the year-ago quarter.

Dividend Update

The board of directors of CNA Financial announced a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share during the reported quarter. The dividend will be paid on Jun 1, 2016 to stockholders on record as of May 16, 2016.

Zacks Rank and Performance by Other P&C Insurers

CNA Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Among other P&C insurers that reported their first-quarter earnings so far, 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.

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