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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
06/30/201517:31:00ACE Publishes 2014 Global Loss Triangles
06/26/201506:04:00ACE Group erweitert D&O-Angebot um Online-Police
06/25/201518:40:00ESIS Appoints Paul Holden Chief Information Officer
06/25/201513:14:00ACE Appoints Scott Mandeville to Manage Surety Operations in...
06/24/201517:30:00ACE Wins Three Advisen Cyber Risk Awards; Toby Merrill Named...
06/24/201503:00:00ACE Group’s Andy Macfarlane & Jim Rutherford appointed Presidents o...
06/23/201509:09:00ACE to Hold its Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call on Wednesday...
06/23/201506:13:00ACE Bermuda International Announces New ACE NorDIC Directors...
06/23/201505:04:00ACE Group mit neuer Umweltdeckung in Österreich
06/23/201503:22:00ACE Appoints New Country President for Vietnam
06/22/201507:18:00ACE South Africa Promotes Milenko Skoro to the New Role of Head...
06/18/201513:53:00ACE Introduces New Online Tool that Allows Agents to Generate...
06/18/201505:21:00ACE embraces the UK Insurance Act with further enhancements to...
06/18/201500:26:00ACE Establishes Bespoke Unit to Service Captive Insurers and...
06/11/201519:05:00ACE Advisory: Public-Private Partnership Delivery Creates New...
06/01/201518:56:00ACE Launches Comprehensive General Liability Offering for Multinational...
05/29/201506:48:00ACE Research Shows Rising Interest in Critical Illness Cover...
05/28/201508:14:00ACE Appoints Gary Jack Country President for South Africa
05/27/201518:52:00ACE Solutions Fast Track Expands Specialty Insurance Offerings...
05/27/201510:42:42Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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