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Insurance earnings roundup, Jan. 31

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Insurance earnings roundup, Jan. 31

With earnings season in gear, S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a snapshot of recently reported financial results for companies in the insurance space.

Life and health

Aflac Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2016 operating earnings of $630 million, or $1.54 per share, compared with $668 million, or $1.56 per share, a year ago.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.63.

The year-over-year decline in operating earnings reflected the impact of a pretax $52 million reserve adjustment on a closed block of business.

Net earnings for the period increased year over year to $751 million, or $1.84 per share, from $730 million, or $1.71 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Net earnings included $116 million, or 29 cents per share, of pretax net realized investment gains, compared to $91 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier. Pretax net realized gains from securities transactions and impairments came to $114 million, or 28 cents per share. Hedging costs related to certain dollar investments of Aflac Japan on a pretax basis were $62 million, or 15 cents per share. Realized pretax net investment gains from other derivative and hedging actions were $64 million, or 16 cents per share. Net earnings in the most recent period also include a pretax gain of $70 million, or 17 cents per share, from other and nonrecurring items.

The company's outlook is unchanged since its December 2016 outlook call. Aflac continues to aim for operating EPS of $6.40 to $6.65 for 2017. It expects to repurchase between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion of shares over the course of the year.

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Managed care

Aetna Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2016 operating earnings of $578 million, or $1.63 per share, up from $482 million, or $1.37 per share, in the prior-year quarter.

Higher underwriting margins and higher fees and other revenue in Aetna's healthcare segment contributed to the year-over-year increase in operating earnings.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $1.44.

Fourth-quarter 2016 GAAP net income was $139 million, or 39 cents per share, down from $321 million, or 91 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The decline was primarily attributed to an increase in restructuring costs, which include $215 million, or $330 million pretax, of expense recorded during the fourth quarter of 2016 related to the company's voluntary early retirement program, partially offset by the increase in operating earnings.

For 2017, the company expects to report operating EPS of at least $8.55. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2017 is $8.79.

The health insurer projects 2017 GAAP EPS to be at least $3.70.

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Property & casualty

Chubb Ltd. reported after-tax operating income of $1.28 billion, or $2.72 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2016, up from $780 million, or $2.38 per share, in the year-ago period.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $2.41.

Chubb saw fourth-quarter 2016 net income of $1.61 billion, or $3.41 per share, compared with $683 million, or $2.08 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

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W. R. Berkley Corp. reported fourth-quarter 2016 operating income of $103.9 million, or 82 cents per share, compared with $114.8 million, or 89 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was 80 cents.

Net income attributable to common stockholders was $152.8 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with $109.7 million, or 85 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

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RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. posted fourth-quarter 2016 operating income available to common shareholders of $119.4 million, or $2.92 per share, compared with $135.0 million, or $3.07 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.24.

The company reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income available to common shareholders of $69.4 million, or $1.69 per share, compared with $92.2 million, or $2.09 per share, in the year-ago period.