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StanCorp Plunges as Profit Falls, Missing Analyst Estimates

StanCorp Financial Group Inc., the Portland, Oregon-based disability insurer, fell the most since 2008 as profit plunged, missing analysts’ estimates.

The insurer dropped $5.72, or 14 percent, to $35.50 at 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The company had slipped 21 percent this year.

Second-quarter net income dropped 54 percent to $18.8 million, or 42 cents a share, from $41.1 million, or 87 cents, as the cost of benefits increased, the company said in a statement late yesterday. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were 61 cents a share, missing the average $1.03 estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Higher-than-expected claims incidence in the company’s group long-term disability insurance business” are weighing on results, Standard & Poor’s said today as it lowered the counterparty credit rating to BBB+ from A- for the firm.

The insurer has raised prices to “address the higher claims in the current economic environment,” StanCorp Chief Executive Officer Greg Ness said in the statement.

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