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CNA Financial (CNA) Q4 Earnings and Revenues Beat, Rise Y/Y

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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CNA Financial Corporation CNA reported fourth-quarter 2020 core earnings of $1.23 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16%. The bottom line also increased 26.8% year over year.

The quarter witnessed higher premiums across most of its segments and increased net investment income, which were partially offset by elevated expenses.

Behind Fourth-Quarter Headlines

Total operating revenues of CNA Financial were nearly $2.5 billion, up 3.4% year over year on the back of higher net investment income and premiums. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.3%.

Net written premiums at Property & Casualty Operations improved 12% year over year to about $2 billion, driven by strong rate and higher new business.

Net investment income increased 1.8% year over year to $555 million, driven by limited partnership and common stock investments, partially offset by lower yields in fixed income portfolio.

Total claims, benefits and expenses increased 0.5% to $2.5 billion, primarily due to higher amortization of deferred acquisition costs and non-insurance warranty expense.

Combined ratio improved 210 basis points (bps) year over year to 93.5.

CNA Financial Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

CNA Financial Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
CNA Financial Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

CNA Financial Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | CNA Financial Corporation Quote

Segment Results

Specialty’s net written premiums rose nearly 15% year over year to $883 million, driven by strong rate and higher new business. Combined ratio deteriorated 120 bps to 89.4%.

Commercial’s net written premiums increased 11% year over year to $975 million, driven by higher new business and favorable rate. Combined ratio improved 440 bps to 96.2%.

International’s net written premiums increased 7% year over year to $311 million, driven by growth in Europe and Canada. Combined ratio improved 340 bps to 96.9%.

Life & Group’s Net earned premiums were $124 million, down 4.6% year over year. Core income of $26 million rebounded from year-ago loss of $4 million.

Corporate & Other’s core loss of $16 million was narrower than loss of $68 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Full-Year Highlights

Full-year 2020 core income of $2.70 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.53. The bottom line decreased 25% year over year.

Total revenues increased 0.3% to about $9.6 billion and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.3%

Combined ratio deteriorated 420 bps year over year to 100.9.

Core return on equity was 6.1%, down 200 bps.

Debt-to-capital improved 10 bps o 17.9% at year end.

Book value as of Dec 31, 2020 was $46.82 per share, up 6% from Dec 31, 2019.

Dividend Update

CNA Financial’s board of directors approved a quarterly dividend of 38 cents, reflecting a 3% increase from the earlier payout. It also paid a special dividend of 75 cents per share.

Zacks Rank

CNA Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other Insurers

Of the insurance industry players that have reported fourth-quarter results so far, The Travelers Companies TRV, W.R. Berkley Corporation WRB and RLI Corp RLI beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings.

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