OneBeacon Insurance posts 5 pct rise in 1Q profit

NEW YORK (AP) -- OneBeacon Insurance Group said Friday that its quarterly profit rose 5 percent, as specialty insurance payments increased.

OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd. posted net income for the January to March period of $44.2 million, or 46 cents per share. That was up from $42 million, or 44 cents per share, in the 2011 quarter.

The insurer reported operating income of $24.6 million, or 26 cents per share. That's down from $26.9 million, or 28 cents, in the prior-year period. But total revenue in the first quarter rose nine percent to $317.4 million, from $290 million last year.

Analysts, on average, had been looking for earnings of 28 cents per share and revenue of $287 million, according to the data provider FactSet.

OneBeacon Insurance Group's stock slipped 9 cents to $14.24 in midday trading Friday.

The company said premium payments picked up for its professional, technology and accident insurance lines, helping to drive first-quarter net written premiums up 17 percent to $303 million.

OneBeacon's profitability increased slightly. A key measure known as the combined ratio inched up to 93.6 percent from 93.3 percent the year before. A figure below 100 percent means that for every premium dollar taken in, less than a dollar went for losses, expenses, and commissions.

OneBeacon Insurance Group is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, but has its headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn. The company has a stock-market value of $1.35 billion. It has traded as high as $17.17 and as low as $12.00 over the past year.