Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) went through a rough few years during and after the financial crisis as commitments it had made to policyholders created big losses exactly as income from its investment portfolio fell through the floor. More recently, though, things have started looking up for the insurance industry more broadly, and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG)’s big transformation to focus on more profitable business appears to be paying off for the company. Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report.
Stats on Hartford Financial
|Analyst EPS Estimate||$0.71|
|Change From Year-Ago EPS||209%|
|Revenue Estimate||$5.46 billion|
|Change From Year-Ago Revenue||19.3%|
|Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters||2|
How long can Hartford earnings climb so fast?
Analysts have actually had mixed views on Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) earnings recently, having cut their June-quarter estimates by $0.02 per share. But they’ve raised full-year 2013 and 2014 projections by $0.07 per share each, and the stock has responded in line with the longer-term view, rising 17% since late April.
Hartford has been going through a large restructuring of its business, having sold off business lines such as its individual life-insurance unit and its retirement plan business. Although the company posted a loss in its first-quarter report, a one-time charge related to expansion in its annuity-hedging program in Japan was to blame for the loss as Hartford moves more toward becoming a pure property and casualty insurance company. The company continued divesting non-core assets during the quarter, selling its U.K. variable annuity business to a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) last month for $285 million. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) won in a competitive bidding process, seeing value in taking on the risk that Hartford is anxious to rid itself of going forward.
With almost three-quarters of its revenue now coming from its property and casualty business, Hartford will be increasingly sensitive to catastrophic losses when they occur. With this quarter’s loss activity appearing to be relatively muted compared to past periods, Hartford’s earnings growth is consistent with what we’ve seen from other companies.