Unum Group’s UNM third-quarter 2019 operating net income of $1.36 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and fell short of the year-ago quarter earnings by 0.7%.
Unum U.S. and Unum International results were soft. However, the company generated top line growth and recorded solid profit margins.
Total operating revenues of Unum Group were nearly $3 billion, up 2.2% year over year on higher premiums and increase in other income, partially offset by lower investment income. The top line however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.8%.
Total benefits and expenses decreased 19.5% year over year to $2.7 billion. Lower benefits and a change in reserves for future benefit attributed to lower costs.
Unum Group Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Unum Group price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Unum Group Quote
Quarterly Segment Update
Unum U.S.: Premium income was $1.5 billion, up 3.9% year over year. Adjusted operating income was down 3.5% year over year to $261.4 million, attributable to soft performance at Unum US as well as supplemental and voluntary line of business.
Unum International: Premium income grew 10.4% year over year to $152.3 million. Adjusted operating income was $24.2 million, down 7.3% year over year.
Unum UK line of business reported adjusted operating income, in local currency, of £18.7 million, down 6.5%. Premium income was £109 million, up 2.8%, driven by higher overall persistency, sales growth, and the impact of premium rate increases in the group long-term disability product line.
Benefit ratio was 73.4%, down 80 basis points (bps), reflecting favorable claims incidence in the group critical illness product line and lower inflation-linked increases in benefits, partially offset by unfavorable claim terminations in group long-term disability. Persistency increased in group long-term disability and group life business.
Colonial Life: Premium income increased 5% year over year to $419.9 million driven by growth in in-force block resulting from prior-year period sales growth. Sales decreased 0.2% to $120.6 million. Adjusted operating income increased 3.6% to $87.2 million.
Benefit ratio improved 10 bps year over year to 51.4% attributable to favorable experience in the life line of business, mostly offset by unfavorable experience in cancer and critical illness lines of business.
Closed Block: Premium income decreased 3.9% year over year primarily due to policy terminations and maturities. Adjusted operating income was $26.9 million, down 16.4% year over year.
Corporate: The segment incurred an operating loss of $48.9 million, wider than operating loss of $47.1 million in the year-earlier quarter.
As of Sep 30, 2019, the weighted average risk-based capital ratio for Unum Group’s traditional U.S. insurance companies was approximately 368%. Unum Group exited the quarter with cash and marketable securities worth $1 billion.
Book value per share of Unum Group increased 19.9% year over year to $46.70 as of Sep 30, 2019.
The company bought back 3.4 million shares for $100 million in the third quarter.
Unum Group affirmed after-tax operating income growth per share between 4% and 7%.
Unum Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Other Insurers
Third-quarter earnings of Aflac Incorporated AFL, Employers Holdings EIG and RLI Corp RLI beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Today's Best Stocks from Zacks
Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.
This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.
See their latest picks free >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Unum Group (UNM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Aflac Incorporated (AFL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Employers Holdings Inc (EIG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
RLI Corp. (RLI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research