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ProAssurance's Q1 net income to be hit by investment losses

ProAssurance Corp.expects to report first-quarter net income per share of 35 cents to 37 cents, andoperating EPS of 45 cents to 47 cents.

The S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus EPS estimate forthe first quarter is 58 cents.

Net earned premium in the quarter is projected to come in at$177 million. The first-quarter consolidated combined ratio is anticipated to beabout 94.5%.

ProAssurance described its underwriting performance as strong,but said its investment result will be below expectations. The investment resultis expected to decline by about $7.0 million compared to the year-ago period. Netincome from its core investment portfolio is expected to be down about $2.0 millionyear over year, while equity in earnings of unconsolidated subsidiaries is projectedto be down by approximately $5.5 million.

The company said net income will be affected by realized investmentlosses of about $8.5 million, versus net realized investment gains of $4.8 millionin the prior-year period. ProAssurance anticipates recognizing impairments of about$10.0 million, mostly in the energy industry.