Progressive 1Q Net Income Rises 20 Percent

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) -

Progressive Corp. said Wednesday its first-quarter net income rose 20 percent, helped by increases in both net premiums written and earned.

The Mayfield Village, Ohio-based insurance company said it earned $308.6 million, or 51 cents per share, up from $257.6 million, or 42 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before. Analysts polled by FactSet expected profit of 49 cents per share.

Revenue rose eight percent, to $4.44 billion from $4.13 billion. Net premiums written, a measure of the value of all new and renewal policies sold during the period, rose seven percent to 4.45 billion. Net premiums earned, the portion of the premiums it earns when policies expire, increased eight percent to $4.18 billion.

Progressive posted a pretax gain on securities of $80.6 million, up four percent from a gain of $77.5 million in the year-ago period.

The company’s combined ratio narrowed by 1.7 percentage points to 92.4 percent. A ratio above 100 means that for every premium dollar taken in, more than a dollar went to cover claims and expenses. A figure below 100 means the company made a profit on its insurance operations.

Progressive shares fell 44 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $25.32 in afternoon trading.