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Progressive reports higher net income in Q3, discloses Michael loss estimates

Progressive Corp. reported net income attributable to the company for the third quarter of $928.4 million, or $1.57 per share, up from $224.0 million, or 38 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2017.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the period was $1.35.

The combined ratio for the quarter was 90.3%, compared with 97.4% a year ago.

Net premiums written for the third quarter came to $8.60 billion, up from $7.14 billion in the prior-year period.

For September, personal auto policies in force grew 15% to 13.1 million, from 11.4 million the previous year. Personal lines policies in force were 17.5 million, an 11% climb from 15.8 million in September 2017.

Property business policies in force saw a 36% jump year over year to 1.9 million from about 1.4 million. Special lines policies in force came in at 4.4 million, nearly unchanged from the prior year.

Net income attributable to the company for September was $250.0 million, or 42 cents per share, versus $41.5 million, or 7 cents per share, the previous year.

Net premiums written rose 23% to $2.73 billion, from $2.22 billion, in September 2017. Net premiums earned went up 21% to $2.48 billion, compared to $2.05 billion, the prior year.

The company reported about $45 million or 1.8 loss ratio points in catastrophe losses, down considerably from $155 million or 7.6 loss ratio points in September 2017. Incurred losses from the vehicle business fell year over year to $26 million, from $100 million the previous September. More than half of the losses reported in this year's period were due to Hurricane Florence, while the losses from a year earlier were primarily due to Hurricane Irma.

Losses from the property business went down to $19 million during the month compared to $55 million the prior year, representing 17.6 points and 64.4 points, respectively, on the combined ratio for the line.

Progressive expects losses from Hurricane Michael of approximately $60 million in its vehicle businesses and net losses of no more than $60 million in its property business, which represents the retention level under the company's property catastrophic reinsurance coverage.

The company also said that its commercial lines business recognized about $54 million of net premiums written in September due to it renewing its commercial auto insurance coverage to an Uber subsidiary in three of the four states in which it writes those policies.