Baldwin & Lyons posts record first-quarter profit

A surge in business and investment gains and a lack of catastrophic events contributed to record first-quarter profit for Baldwin & Lyons Inc., the Indianapolis-based auto and trucking fleet insurer said Thursday morning.

Baldwin & Lyons earned $11.5 million, or 78 cents per share, compared with a loss of $15.2 million, or $1.02 per share, in the same period in 2011. Earnings a year earlier took a beating from major earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.

Revenue rose 17 percent, to $70.9 million.

The company also realized an investment gain of $3.5 million, up from an investment loss of $1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Baldwin & Lyons said profit in the first quarter was boosted by a rise in written premiums, which totaled $90.1 million, or a 6-percent increase from the prior-year period.   

The company has posted two straight quarters of profit after suffering losses in the previous three quarters.

Its shares rose 10 cents Thursday morning, to $21.81 each, up from a 52-week low of $20.45 in April.

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