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Ace Ltd 4Q Profit Up 5%; New-Year View Weaker Than Street

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Ace Ltd.'s (ACE) fourth-quarter earnings rose 5% and operating profit handily beat analysts' estimates as the company's net premiums written increased. But shares fell 5.1% after hours to $59.30 as the company also forecast new-year earnings of $6.10 to $6.50 a share, below the $7.47 consensus projection of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Chairman and Chief Executive Evan Greenberg said the company had a "very good fourth quarter and a strong finish to an excellent year, both financially and operationally." The commercial insurer, which is a unit of ACE Group in Zurich, has seen its core profit decline of late as the percentage of premiums paid out has risen. Like many insurers, its bottom line can be vastly affected by investment gains and losses. In December, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lifted its rating on Ace, saying the company had met or exceeded all of the agency's expectations since it had revised its outlook on the company to positive in late 2008. Ace reported a profit of $1 billion, or $2.92 a share, up from $953 million, or $2.81 a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as investment gains and losses, operating income rose to $2.05 from $2.01. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast operating earnings of $1.84. Net premiums written rose 3.5% to $3.42 billion. Investment income increased 3.9%, and net realized investment gains declined 18% to $305 million. The company's property-and-casualty combined ratio, which indicates the percentage of premiums paid out, rose to 90.3% from 89.6%. -By Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2855; nathan.becker@dowjones.com

Stock News for Ace (ACE)
DateTimeHeadline
04/16/201517:23:00ACE Expands Liability Coverage for Elder Care Facilities: Assisted...
04/16/201514:47:00ACE’s Evan Greenberg Comments on Legislation to Reauthorize T...
04/15/201518:45:00Traveling Abroad with Confidence: ACE Provides Essential Tips...
04/15/201512:39:00ACE Appoints Andrew Hurley Senior Vice President, Corporate Risk...
04/15/201505:12:00ACE appoints Glenn O’Halloran as Environmental Risk Underwriter, U...
04/14/201515:53:00Delivering Exceptional Patient Care amidst a Changing Healthcare...
04/13/201517:26:00ESIS Debuts Robust Mobile Application for On-the-Go Claims Professionals
04/08/201506:04:12Additional Proxy Soliciting Materials (definitive) (defa14a)
04/08/201506:03:57Proxy Statement (definitive) (def 14a)
04/01/201519:21:03Ace and BlackRock Launch Reinsurance Venture
04/01/201517:05:00ACE and BlackRock Announce Launch of ABR Re
04/01/201513:24:00ACE Completes Acquisition of Fireman’s Fund High Net Worth P...
03/31/201520:43:00ACE Launches High Net Worth Personal Insurance Business in Canada
03/31/201517:16:11Current Report Filing (8-k)
03/30/201515:50:00Online Underwriting Meets Small Business: ACE Solutions Fast...
03/30/201506:17:00ACE Creates New Head of Casualty Insurance Role for Eurasia and...
03/30/201503:00:00ACE Packages New Multinational Insurance Solution for UK and...
03/29/201523:48:00ACE Establishes International Excess Unit in Asia Pacific and...
03/27/201507:11:00ACE appoints Susan McDonald as Regional General Counsel for Eurasia...
03/25/201504:00:00ACE Promotes Property and Casualty Managers in the UK and Ireland...

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