3 Stocks Watched By Investors and Traders as Earnings are Delivered

Chubb Corporation (NYSE:CB) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the property and casualty insurance company fell to $452 million ($1.60 per share) vs. $620 million ($2.02 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 27.1% from the year earlier quarter. CB reported adjusted net income of $1.63 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.60 per share.

“Chubb had a solid fourth quarter with operating income per share of $1.63 and a combined ratio of 89.9%,” said John D. Finnegan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We were very pleased to record $1.7 billion in net income for the year despite unprecedented levels of catastrophe losses. This reflects the strong underlying performance of all three of our business units. “The fourth quarter was especially encouraging as the commercial rate environment continued to improve,” said Mr. Finnegan. “We secured an average renewal rate increase of 6% in our U.S. standard commercial business, and average renewal rates in our U.S. professional liability business turned positive for the first time in two years. Given our strong balance sheet and underwriting discipline, we are well positioned to take advantage of these improving market conditions.”

Competitors to Watch: American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG), The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV), CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA), White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE:WTM), RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI), Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), HCC Insurance Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:HCC), W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB), OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE:OB), and Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACGL).

Federated Investors Inc. (NYSE:FII) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the asset management company fell to $36.9 million (36 cents per share) vs. $46.4 million (45 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 20.4% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 11.8% to $216.4 million from the year earlier quarter. FII fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 39 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $225.1 million.

“In a year when income-seeking strategies were in demand, investors found a range of opportunities at Federated, from our multi-sector and high-yield bond strategies to the particular interest in equity portfolios investing in dividend-paying companies in the U.S. and across the globe,” said J. Christopher Donahue, president and chief executive officer. “Combined assets in Federated’s strategic-value portfolios more than doubled in 2011 to reach $10 billion, while our Strategic Value Dividend Fund became one of the best selling equity-income funds in the industry last year.”

Competitors to Watch: Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN), Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE:WDR), T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW), Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG), SEI Investments Company (NASDAQ:SEIC), Eaton Vance Corp. (NYSE:EV), Janus Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:JNS), U.S. Global Investors, Inc. (NASDAQ:GROW), Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTS), and Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE:CNS).

Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE:CLP) reported its results for the fourth quarter. The company’s funds from operations (FFO) held steady at 28 cents matching the year earlier quarter. FFO, a measure of performance of a real estate investment trust (REIT), removes the profit-reducing effect that depreciation has on earnings. It fell short of the consensus estimate of 29 cents per share.

“The operating momentum we established throughout the year resulted in the best percentage year-over-year same-property NOI growth in our company’s history,” stated Thomas H. Lowder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As a result of our improved operating performance and our positive outlook, the Board of Trustees has voted to increase the quarterly common dividend by $0.03 per quarter, representing a 20 percent increase. Our asset dispositions have allowed us to fund attractive growth opportunities, which have improved the quality of our multifamily portfolio and moved us closer to our goal of a 90/10 portfolio mix between multifamily and commercial. We believe the fundamentals of the business should remain strong and allow us to drive same-property performance in 2012.”

Competitors to Watch: Cousins Properties Inc (NYSE:CUZ), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO), Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE), Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY), Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESS), UDR, Inc. (NYSE:UDR), Mid-America Apartment (NYSE:MAA), Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT), BRE Properties, Inc. (NYSE:BRE), and Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com