Progressive Corp. 's PGR operating earnings for Jul 2015 came in at 18 cents per share, flat with earnings delivered in the year-ago month.
Top-line growth was offset by an increase in expenses, leading to flat year-over-year earnings.
Progressive recorded $2.0 billion net premiums written, up 11% from $1.8 billion in the year-ago month. Net premiums earned of $1.9 billion were up 11% from $1.7 billion in the year-ago month.
Combined ratio deteriorated 150 basis points from the prior-year month to 93.1%.
Progressive publishes monthly financial reports. In the month of July, policies in force were healthy, with the Personal Auto segment increasing 3% year over year to 9.5 million. Special Lines increased 2% year over year to 4.1 million.
In Progressive's Personal Auto segment, Direct Auto improved 8% year over year to 4.8 million policies. However, Agency Auto declined 3% year over year to 4.7 million. Progressive's Commercial Auto segment showed 5% improvement to 0.5 million policies on a year-over-year basis. Property business had a little more than 1 million policies in force in the reported month.
Total revenue improved 11% year over year to $2 billion, largely driven by higher service revenues (up 65% year over year), premiums (up 11% year over year) and investment income (up 20% year over year).
On the other hand, total expense increased 12.4% year over year to $1.5 billion in July. The major components contributing to the rise in total expense were an 11.6% increase in losses and loss adjustment expenses, 11.2% higher policy acquisition costs and a 17% rise in other underwriting expenses.
Progressive reported book value per share of $12.79 on Jul 31, up 11% year over year.
Return on equity on a trailing 12-month basis was 17.7%, down 120 basis points year over year. The debt-to-total capital ratio deteriorated 210 basis points from the prior-year level to 26.6% as of Jul 31.
Progressive carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked property and casualty insurers are First American Financial Corporation FAF , Hallmark Financial Services Inc. HALL and Selective Insurance Group Inc. SIGI . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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