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Cat losses of $827M drag Q1 earnings down for Allstate

AllstateCorp. reported first-quarter operating income of $322 million, or84 cents per share, down sharply from $616 million, or $1.46 per share, in theyear-ago quarter.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate forthe quarter was 68 cents.

Net income applicable to common shareholders was $217million, or 57 cents per share, compared with $648 million, or $1.53 per share,a year ago.

Chairman and CEO Thomas Wilson said in the company'searnings release that Allstate's business model allowed it to cover the cost oftwo hailstorms duringthe first quarter. Catastrophe losses totaled $827 million for the quarter,compared with only $294 million in the year-ago quarter.

The property-liability combined ratio was 98.4% for thequarter, which included 10.7 points of catastrophe losses. Property-liabilityinsurance premiums for the period were $7.72 billion, compared with $7.43billion in the year-ago quarter.

Esurance reported a combined ratio of 106.2%, 11.6 pointsbetter from 117.8% in the year-ago quarter.

Net investment income for the period was $731 million,compared with $850 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Book value per common share was $48.89 as of March 31,compared with $49.19 as of March 31, 2015.

Allstate also announced a new $1.5 billion common stockbuyback authorization, which is expected to be completed no later than November2017.