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Travelers 1Q net income rises 11 pct

NEW YORK (AP) -- Travelers Cos. said Tuesday its first-quarter net income rose 11 percent, as the insurer paid out less in claims in relation to the premiums it took in.

The New York-based company earned $896 million, or $2.33 per share, for the three months ended March 31, up from $806 million, or $2.02 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue edged down 1 percent to $6.33 billion from $6.39 billion, as after-tax investment income fell 9 percent to $542 million, mainly as a result of lower interest rates.

The earnings easily beat Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 72 cents per share on $6.45 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said net written premiums, or the amount earned from premiums minus the amount paid out in commissions and reinsurance, rose 2 percent to $5.6 billion. The company said it got a boost from existing customers renewing their policies and an increase in volumes at its business insurance division.

Catastrophic losses after taxes fell 40 percent to $65 million.

Travelers' shares rose $3.01, or 3.5 percent, to $87.59 in morning trading after rising to what FactSet says was an all-time high of $89 earlier in the session.