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Amerisafe Gains Most Since 2008 on Profit Growth: Houston Mover

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Amerisafe Inc., the workers’ compensation insurer for industries including construction and logging, gained the most since 2008 after fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

The insurer climbed 12 percent to close at $32.62 in New York, the top performance in the Standard and Poor’s SmallCap Financials Index. Deridder, Louisiana-based Amerisafe has rallied 20 percent this year, compared with a 7.5 percent increase in the 108-company index.

Fourth-quarter net income increased 14 percent to $9.23 million, Amerisafe said yesterday in a statement. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was 49 cents per share, beating the average 39-cent estimate of four analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Premium revenue increased 19 percent to $78.7 million.

“We think the company is continuing to benefit from both rate and market-share gains in the high-hazard workers’ comp market,” FBR Capital Markets analysts led by Randy Binner said in a note yesterday. Binner has a market perform rating on the shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Bunn in New York at ebunn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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