Horace Mann Educators Corp. (HMN), the seller of insurance to public-school employees, jumped the most in about 10 months as fourth-quarter profit increased on fewer catastrophe costs.
Net income more than doubled in the three months ended Dec. 31 to $33.2 million, or 80 cents a share, from $15.2 million, or 36 cents, a year earlier, the Springfield, Illinois-based company said yesterday in a statement. Catastrophe losses fell 46 percent to $3.1 million from $5.7 million.
“The property and casualty industry is in a period of weakening profitability and slow growth,” Matthew Rohrmann, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., said in a note to investors yesterday. “We favor those companies that we believe are best positioned to increase book value over time.” Rohrmann has a “market perform” rating on the company and raised his price target to $18 from $16.
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