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Investment gains mask slowdown for insurer

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The bull market boosted first-quarter profit at Baldwin & Lyons Inc. to a record even though the property-and-casualty insurer’s core business lost ground.

The Indianapolis-based insurer of trucking and auto fleets on Thursday reported $14.9 million, or $1 per share, in earnings—30 percent higher than in the same quarter a year earlier.

But excluding investment gains, Baldwin profit actually declined 30 percent to just $5.6 million, or 38 cents per share. Profit was trimmed through paying out benefits at a higher rate than a year ago.

On that basis, Morgan Keegan, the one investment bank with an analyst covering Baldwin, expected 40 cents per share.

Still, investors reacted favorably to the news, boosting Baldwin stock more than 3 percent Thursday morning. The shares traded at $23.80 apiece a few minutes before 10 a.m.

Baldwin & Lyons wrote fewer insurance premiums in the quarter because of a planned pullback from Florida for “multi-peril” insurance, which can cover businesses for issues including crime, equipment accidents and automobile accidents. Baldwin offset some of those declines by selling more of its core trucking fleet insurance and professional liability products.

Revenue for the quarter, excluding investment gains, totaled $64.9 million, a decrease of 0.9 percent from a year earlier.

In March, Baldwin announced that it would move its headquarters from downtown Indianapolis to Carmel and add 133 jobs over five years.

Baldwin, which employs about 350 in Indiana, intends to spend $20 million to $30 million to purchase and improve a 184,000-square-foot office building at 111 Congressional Blvd. in Carmel.

Baldwin will vacate its headquarters at 1099 N. Meridian St., where it leases 81,000 square feet. That lease was set to expire in August, although Baldwin had an option to renew it for another five years.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Baldwin & Lyons up to $3.5 million in tax credits if it hires all the people it has promised. Also, Baldwin will get $200,000 in training grants from the state. The city of Carmel is considering additional tax incentives.

Baldwin & Lyons posted $253 million in revenue and strong profit in 2012 after suffering losses due to global disasters in 2011.

The company’s operations produced profit of $26.1 million last year, compared to losses in 2011 of $16.6 million.

Including investment gains and losses, overall profit last year totaled $31.9 million, or $2.15 per share, compared with a loss the previous year of $28.2 million, or $1.90 per share.
 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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