The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. reported net income per diluted share of $1.20 for the third quarter of 2003, up from $1.06 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2002. Net income increased 29 percent to $343 million in the current period from $265 million in the third quarter of 2002.
Ramani Ayer, chairman and CEO of The Hartford, noted, “During the quarter, our execution has been strong with both of our life and property/casualty operations benefiting from the favorable market conditions. Total revenues are up 21 percent over the prior-year period.”
Reviewing a quarter in which the property/casualty operations reported record operating earnings, Ayer noted, “Across our ongoing property and casualty segments, margins continue to expand, allowing us to achieve our targeted returns and profitably grow the business into 2004 and beyond. We are equally excited about our improved regional presence that, combined with our solid ratings and strong balance sheet, gives The Hartford good momentum going into next year.”
Net realized capital gains totaled $8 million (after-tax) in the current
quarter versus net realized capital losses of $100 million (after-tax) in the same period last year.
The Hartford’s operating income rose 30 percent in the third quarter of 2003 compared to the third quarter of 2002, excluding two items: the $40 million after-tax effect of the previously announced increase in Bancorp litigation reserves in 2003, and a $76 million tax benefit relating to prior years in 2002.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2003, the company reported a net loss of $545 million as a result of the first quarter increase in asbestos reserves, compared to net income of $742 million for the comparable period of 2002. Net realized capital gains totaled $141 million (after-tax) for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2003, versus net realized capital losses of $207 million (after-tax) in the same period last year.
Ayer said, “This year has seen The Hartford take strong steps to assure its continued financial health by adding a large increase to its legacy asbestos reserves. The burden that those reserves put on us was real, but the earnings power of our businesses today has enabled us to make significant strides toward covering the charge. Whether or not there is legislative action on asbestos in Washington this year, we remain confident that our prudent actions have conservatively addressed today’s asbestos environment.”
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