Unum Falls the Most Since April on Lower Sales: Atlanta Mover

Unum Group, the largest U.S. disability insurer, fell the most since April after reporting a decline in second-quarter sales.

Unum dropped 4.8 percent to $30.79 at 11:35 a.m. in New York, the worst performer in the 81-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index. Revenue for the period ending June 30, including investments, slid 0.6 percent to $2.6 billion from a year earlier, Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Unum said in a statement yesterday, missing the $2.61 billion average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Against a backdrop where most group insurance peers demonstrated year-over-year sales growth, UNM’s second-quarter 2013 results clearly bucked that trend,” John Nadel, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., said today in a note using the company’s ticker symbol.

Annualized premium income on new sales in the quarter fell 19 percent for Unum’s main U.S. unit and 7.2 percent in the U.K. from a year earlier, acccording to a regulatory filing today. Net income rose 1 percent to $218.6 million, or 82 cents a share, from a year earlier.

Chief Executive Officer Thomas Watjen has said he’s prepared to limit sales rather than offer products at unattractive prices.

“While sales growth continues to be a challenge in the U.S., we remain committed to maintaining the pricing and underwriting discipline that has served us so well,” Watjen, 59, said in the statement.

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