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Assurant, Inc. AIZ reported fourth-quarter 2020 net operating income of $1.82 per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12.5%. Moreover, the bottom line declined 19.1% from the year-ago quarter.
The earnings reflect lower real-estate owned volumes in Global Housing, and softer investment income impacting each line of business in Global Lifestyle, offset by growth in domestic pre-funded funeral policies and prior period sales of the Final Need product in Global Preneed.
Total revenues were down 3.4% year over year to $2.5 billion due to lower fees and other income (down 29.4%) and net investment income (down 20.7%). Also, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.4%.
Total benefits, loss and expenses decreased 2.3% to $2.4 billion due to lower policyholder benefits, and selling, underwriting, general and administrative expenses.
Assurant, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Assurant, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Assurant, Inc. Quote
In 2020, Assurant delivered net operating income of $8.63 per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.8%. However, the bottom line improved 0.9% year over year.
Total revenues of $10.1 billion missed the consensus mark by 0.7% but grew 0.9% year over year.
Net earned premiums, fees and others at Global Housing decreased 3% year over year to $496.7 million, primarily due to the expected run-off of small commercial business and declines in lender-placed policies in-force from the previously disclosed financially insolvent client as well as lower real estate owned volumes. The downside was partially offset by higher premium rates in lender-placed and continued growth in specialty products and multifamily housing.
The segment reported net operating income of $61.1 million, which decreased 16% year over year, primarily due to $28.2 million of higher reportable catastrophes, primarily from Hurricanes Zeta and Delta.
Net earned premiums, fees and others at Global Lifestyle decreased 2% year over year to $1.8 billion due to the impact from the mobile program contract change.
Net operating income of $87.9 million declined 10% year over year primarily due to a $16.3 million reduction in investment income impacting each line of business compared to the prior year period.
Net earned premiums, fees and others at Global Preneed rose 5% year over year to $53.8 million, primarily due to growth in domestic pre-funded funeral policies and prior period sales of the Final Need product. Net operating income declined 45% year over year to $8.8 million mainly due to $4.0 million of non-recurring items and updated assumptions for the earnings pattern of new policies. Higher mortality related to COVID-19 and lower investment income from lower yields also contributed to the decrease in the quarter.
Net operating loss at Corporate & Other was $22.9 million, wider than the year-ago quarter’s $21.6 million, primarily due to lower investment income from lower asset balances and yields compared to the prior-year period. The operating loss also includes $2.3 million of severance and real estate charges related to ongoing expense discipline and the evolution of Assurant’s workplace environment.
The company exited the fourth quarter with total assets of $44.6 billion, up 0.8% year over year. Debt was $2.2 billion, which increased 12.2% year over year.
Stockholders’ equity of $5.9 billion at the end of the quarter increased 5.3% year over year.
The company expects to provide its full-year 2021 outlook following the outcome of its evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, of Global Preneed.
Zacks Rank & Peer Releases
The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Fourth-quarter earnings of Chubb Limited CB, Reinsurance Group of America RGA, and Markel Corporation MKL beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.
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