Baldwin & Lyons sees quarterly profit on fewer disasters

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Indianapolis-based Baldwin & Lyons Inc. on Thursday reported a profitable second quarter, a year after a series of  major natural catastrophes caused a big loss for the transportation industry insurer.

Earnings rose to $4.1 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a loss of $5.5 million, or 38 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2011.

It was the third straight profitable quarter for Baldwin & Lyons after three straight losing quarters during a catastrophe-filled 2011. Events weighing on the bottom line in 2011 included tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri.

Second-quarter revenue fell nearly 10 percent from a year ago, to $58.3 million, due to a 5-percent decrease in written premiums and $3.5 million in investment losses.

The company said the decline in premium volume was in part related to planned changes in its private passenger automobile and commercial multi-peril products.

Baldwin & Lyons is best known for insuring truck and public transportation fleets, but the insurer has been diversifying its product offerings. Early in the quarter, the firm's Protective Specialty Insurance Co. began offering liability coverage to medical professionals. Protective already offers liability insurance to professionals such as insurance agents and real estate agents.

Baldwin & Lyons shares were down 20 cents early Thursday, to $21.95 per share.
 

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