Validus Declines as Profit Misses Estimates

Validus Holdings Ltd. tumbled in New York trading after the reinsurer’s profit missed analysts’ estimates on higher-than-expected claims costs.

Validus declined 3.4 percent to $35.92 at 4:15 p.m. The stock has fallen 1.3 percent in the past year, compared with the 20 percent gain of the Russell 1000 Index.

Fourth-quarter operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was 94 cents a share, the Bermuda-based company said yesterday in a statement. That missed by 62 cents the average estimate of 10 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The combined ratio, a measure of how much of each premium dollar is spent on claims and expenses, was 77.6 percent, worse than the 67.8 percent expected by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

The reinsurer had a “disappointing quarter,” KBW’s Meyer Shields said in a note. “Unfavorable loss reserve development associated with the 2010 and 2011 New Zealand earthquakes also contributed to the combined ratio underperformance.”

Costs in the period tied to the quakes were more than $70 million, Validus said. Net income improved to $95.3 million, from a loss of $90.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 when Superstorm Sandy struck the U.S. East Coast.

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