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Baldwin & Lyons reports higher revenue, lower profit

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Baldwin & Lyons Inc., an Indianapolis-based insurer of car and truck fleets, saw lower profit in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago, despite an uptick in revenue.

The company announced Thursday morning that it earned $10.3 million, or 69 cents per share, in the latest quarter, compared with $10.9 million, or 74 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Quarterly revenue rose to $67.7 million, up from $60.8 million in 2009.

The insurer’s underlying business, which excludes investment gains and losses, produced $6.4 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with a record $8.2 million, or 56 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The company reported an underwriting gain of $5.6 million in the fourth quarter, identical to its gain in the same period in 2009. For the entire year, however, the underwriting gain was $2.1 million compared with a gain of $17.1 million in 2009. The results reflect more than $24 million in catastrophic losses from “several global events” in 2010, the company said.

Quarterly premiums written by Baldwin & Lyons’ insurance subsidiaries increased 7 percent compared with the fourth quarter in 2009 and were up 18 percent for the entire year. The increase includes higher volume on traditional products, including fleets, as well as new products such as commercial multi-peril and casualty reinsurance.

Net premiums in the quarter also rose by 13 percent, to $57.5 million. For the entire year, net premiums jumped 18 percent, to $214.7 million.

Profit in 2010 slid to $25 million, or $1.69 a share, from $44.8 million, or $3.04 a share, in 2009.

Total revenue in 2010 increased to $249.5 million, up from $232.6 million in 2009.

Shares of Baldwin & Lyons opened trading Thursday morning at $23.54 each, up from a 52-week low of $20 in June.
 

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