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Baldwin profit falls on smaller investment returns

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Investment losses caused Baldwin & Lyons Inc.’s second-quarter profit to tumble, but its underlying business picked up speed, the company announced Thursday morning.

The Indianapolis-based insurer of truck and car fleets earned $5 million, or 33 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, down from $14.2 million, or 96 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

However, excluding investment losses incurred this year and investment gains recorded last year, Baldwin would have earned 46 cents per share in the second quarter, up from 41 cents per share last year.

Morgan Keegan, the one Wall Street firm that issues research reports on Baldwin, predicted the company would earn 29 cents per share, excluding investments.

Baldwin’s revenue for the quarter fell nearly 6 percent, to $55.3 million. Revenue from operations surged 26 percent, to $58.1 million.

The company’s second-quarter profits were a big improvement from the first quarter, when Baldwin absorbed $1.5 million in catastrophic claims from the earthquake in Chile, as well as claims from windstorms in Australia and Europe.

Since reporting its first-quarter results, the price of Baldwin's series B common stock has fallen more than 8 percent. The shares closed Wednesday at $23.21 apiece.

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