Symetra Falls as Profit Declines, Missing Analysts’ Estimates

Symetra Financial Corp. slumped in New York trading after the life insurer posted a decline in third-quarter profit, missing analysts’ estimates.

Symetra dropped 3.2 percent to $21.77 at 11:49 a.m., the second-worst performance in the 463-company Russell 2000 Financial Services Index.

Net income fell 21 percent to $36 million, or 31 cents a share, the Bellevue, Washington-based company said late yesterday. Operating income, which excludes some investment results, was 39 cents a share, missing the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 5 cents. Operating return on average equity increased to 9.1 percent for the 12 months ended Sept. 30 from

8.1 percent a year earlier.

“We continue to struggle with the quality of earnings and slow pace of ROE improvement” at Symetra, Stern Agee & Leach Inc. analysts led by John Nadel said in a note to investors.

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