Progressive Fails to Progress in New Earnings Report

From Mayfield Village, Ohio, comes the news that Progressive (PGR) came up far short of expectations in its Q2 2012 earnings report, which has sent the insurance carrier’s stock downward Thursday. The numbers didn’t add up well when compared to the same period in 2011, and for the earnings to miss projections by a large number, the stockmarket is punishing the company by sending its stock tumbling nearly 5 percent Thursday morning.

The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR)

The company posted earnings per share of 19 cents, which missed expectations by 8 cents.  Net income for the quarter was 52 percent less than the same period in 2011, and the EPS was half.  However, the total number of policies in force was up by about 6 percent in June 2012 compared to a year ago. Net premiums written and earned in the second quarter were up about 7-8 percent over the same period a year ago, which at least shows some net growth. The company reported $13.5 million in net income for the month of June, but total comprehensive income for the year was down 23 percent from the first six months of 2011.

The company, however, did report $107 million in catastrophic losses in the second quarter, which is 87 percent of the firm’s year-to-date total losses, which may explain much of the difference.Texas, Colorado and Florida accounted for 7 percent of the year-to-date losses, according to the company’s report. The YTD number, however, is about 9 percent lower than in 2011. The company was scheduling a conference call for Friday, August 3, to discuss the numbers.

The news may not be looked upon well by hedge funds like Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management or Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital. Both funds have more than 2 percent of their portfolios invested in Progressive at the end of March, to the combined value of $404 million. While 2 percent isn’t much, to have a significant hit to that much money will be felt in the coming days, at least until the company reports its July numbers next month.