By Alexandria Baca
Shares of Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. auto and home insurer, gained the most Thursday since August 2012 after the company’s profit report beat analysts’ estimates.
Allstate advanced 5.7 percent to $52.36, the biggest jump in the 81-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index. Fourth-quarter profit more than doubled to $810 million, or $1.76 a share, the Northbrook, Ill.-based insurer said yesterday in a statement. The company has a large regional office based in Hudson.
Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was $1.70 a share, beating by 33 cents the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 22 analysts. Allstate spent 88.7 cents on claims and expenses for every premium dollar in its property and liability unit, compared with $1.02 in the last three months of 2012.
The insurer “posted a solid core loss ratio,” said Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. analysts led by Meyer Shields in a note to clients. “Homeowners results outperformed our estimate due to the quarter’s favorable weather” and rate increases.
He rates the company outperform.