Brown & Brown Surges as Broker’s Profit Beats Estimates

Brown & Brown Inc. jumped the most since April after the insurance broker’s fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates on stronger-than-expected revenue.

The broker climbed 5.4 percent to $28.97 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. The Daytona Beach, Florida-based company has rallied 14 percent this year, double the gain in the Standard and Poor’s Midcap 400 Index.

Earnings per share were 29 cents, beating by two cents the average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. So-called organic revenue, which excludes recently purchased businesses and some fees from insurers, climbed 5.4 percent, the insurer said in a statement after the close of regular trading on Feb. 1. That exceeded the 2.1 percent growth estimate of Meyer Shields, an analyst with Stifel Nicholas & Co.

“We expect organic growth to steadily improve along with the middle-market economy and rising commercial insurance rate increases in 2013,” Shields said in a note today.

Shields has a buy rating on the company.

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