Insurer ACE's net income slips in 1st-qtr

ACE Limited posts lower 1Q net income on higher expenses, but results beat street views

Associated Press

Property and casualty insurer ACE Ltd. said Monday that its net income slipped 2 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter, as expenses grew, offsetting a gain in net premiums.

Even so, the company's latest earnings trumped Wall Street estimates.

ACE, based in Zurich, said net income was $953 million, or $2.77 per share, for the three months ended March 31. That compares with net income of $973 million, or $2.84 per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts expected $2.22 per share, according to FactSet.

Total net premiums written increased 6.3 percent to about $3.8 billion, from $3.57 billion a year earlier.

But losses and loss-related expenses grew to $1.93 billion from $1.8 billion in the same period.

Net investment income also declined, falling to $531 million from $544 million.

After-tax catastrophe losses, including reinstatement premiums for the quarter, climbed to $28 million from $14 million, a year earlier.

ACE cited lower catastrophe losses as it raised its full-year expectations for $7.10 to $7.50 per share in after-tax operating income. In January, the company expected operating income of $6.60 to $7 per share.

ACE shares ended regular trading up 24 cents at $89.27. The stock fell 24 cents to $89.03 in extended trading. Shares are up about 12 percent this year.

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