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Allstate profit beats Street as premiums grow

An Allstate insurance office is shown in San Francisco, California February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
An Allstate insurance office is shown in San Francisco, California February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

(Reuters) - Allstate Corp , the largest publicly traded home and auto insurer in the United States, reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates as it wrote more premiums across its businesses.

Allstate has been raising rates across businesses over the last two years to offset higher catastrophe losses and low interest rates on its investments.

Allstate's net income fell to $310 million, or 66 cents per share, in the third quarter from $723 million, or $1.48 per share, a year earlier.

The fall in profit was due to an estimated $475 million after-tax loss on the sale of Lincoln Benefit Life Co, which it sold to Resolution Life Holdings for $600 million in July.

On an operating basis, Allstate reported earnings of $1.53 cents per share, while consolidated revenue rose 4 percent to $8.47 billion.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.39 per share on revenue of $7.30 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total property-liability insurance premiums rose 4 percent to $6.97 billion.

The company's shares, which have gained about a third of their value this year, closed at $52.96 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Don Sebastian)

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