Allstate’s Second-Quarter Profit Rises 41%

Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. property-casualty insurer, said second-quarter profit advanced 41 percent and beat estimates as revenue climbed.

Net income rose to $614 million, or $1.39 a share, from $434 million, or 92 cents, a year earlier, the Northbrook, Illinois-based company said today in a statement. Operating income, which excludes some investment results, was $1.01 a share, beating the 65-cent average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Allstate Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Wilson has focused on winning and retaining customers after price increases caused some homeowners to defect. Second-quarter results were helped by an increase in policyholders for its namesake brand of coverage.

“We’ve got all of our businesses operating at the right return and you’re seeing our growth momentum build, particularly in the Allstate agency channel,” Wilson, 56, said today in a phone interview. “We’re feeling good about where we’re headed.”

Allstate-brand homeowners policies in force reversed a decline that started in June 2006, after Hurricane Katrina slammed the southern U.S. The insurer had 6.07 million home policies in force at the end of the quarter, compared with 6.06 million on March 31.

Allstate rose 2.6 percent to $58.39 in extended trading at 4:45 p.m. in New York. It’s risen 4.3 percent this year, compared with the 4.6 percent gain by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index.

Policies in force at Allstate’s namesake brand increased 1.5 percent in the second quarter, led by a 450,000-policy jump in the auto unit. The insurer made 2.6 cents for every premium dollar in its property and liability coverage unit, compared with 3.9 cents a year earlier.

Book value, a measure of assets minus liabilities, rose to $47.97 a share from $46.70 as of March 31. Investment income narrowed to $898 million from $984 million a year earlier.

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