Earnings Investor Spotlight Shines on These Financial Stocks

General Growth Properties (NYSE:GGP) reported its results for the fourth quarter. The company’s funds from operations (FFO) rose 16% from the year earlier quarter to 29 cents. FFO, a measure of performance of a real estate investment trust (REIT), removes the profit-reducing effect that depreciation has on earnings. It come in ahead of the consensus estimate of 28 cents per share. FFO, a measure of performance of a real estate investment trust (REIT), removes the profit-reducing effect that depreciation has on earnings.

Competitors to Watch: The Macerich Company (NYSE:MAC), Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. (NYSE:UBA), One Liberty Properties, Inc. (NYSE:OLP), Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI), CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE:CBL), Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS), Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE:KRG), Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR), Federal Realty Inv. Trust (NYSE:FRT), and Alexander’s, Inc. (NYSE:ALX).

Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CINF) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for the property and casualty insurance company rose to $134 million (83 cents per share) vs. $126 million (77 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 6.3% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 2% to $955 million from the year earlier quarter. Cincinnati Financial Corporation beat the mean analyst estimate of 57 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $952.6 million.

Steven J. Johnston, president and chief executive officer, commented, “Fourth-quarter underwriting profits from our main business, property casualty insurance operations, rose to $98 million before taxes, the first underwriting profit for any 2011 quarter and our best result for any quarter since 2007. Strong fourth-quarter results reflected better core underwriting as well as our recently reported favorable impacts from lower catastrophe loss estimates, improving pricing trends for commercial insurance and higher securities valuations in our investment portfolio.”

Competitors to Watch: American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG), Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI), United Fire & Casualty (NASDAQ:UFCS), CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA), Harleysville Group Inc. (NASDAQ:HGIC), Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL), W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE:WRB), The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV), Old Republic Intl. Corp. (NYSE:ORI), American Insurance Group (NYSE:AIG) and The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG).

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