Baldwin & Lyons ekes out profit despite higher accident claims

Carmel-based insurer Baldwin & Lyons Inc. saw a big increase in revenue and premiums written in the first quarter, but a jump in accident losses almost wiped out earnings.

The company, which specializes in insurance for the transportation industry, on Wednesday reported a quarterly profit of about $300,000, or 2 cents per share, down from $6.8 million, or 45 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

First-quarter revenue totaled $107.4 million, up from $84.9 million during the year-ago period.

Gross premiums written for the quarter totaled $148.8 million, up 35 percent from a year ago. Net premiums earned for the quarter totaled $105.5 million, up 43 percent.

Net investment income for the first quarter of 2018 increased 25.6 percent, to $4.6 million, compared with $3.7 million in the prior-year period.

The insurer reported accident losses and other expenses totaling $107.1 million, up from $74.4 million in the same quarter of 2017.

The company’s Class A shares were trading at $21.65 Thursday morning, down nearly 6 percent from Tuesday’s closing price. The company’s B stock fell 2.6 percent, to $22.45 per share.

The firm announced a quarterly dividend of 28 cents per share on both classes of stock, payable June 5 to shareholders of record on May 22.

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