StanCorp Financial Group Inc. Earnings: The Profit Streak Continues

StanCorp Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:SFG) reported its results for the fourth quarter. StanCorp Financial Group is a holding company and conducts business through wholly-owned operating subsidiaries throughout the United States. .

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StanCorp Financial Group Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the accident and health insurance company fell to $39.3 million (89 cents per share) vs. $52 million ($1.12 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 24.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 2.5% to $727.7 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SFG reported adjusted net income of 87 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 79 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $710.7 million.

Quoting Management: “Our fourth quarter results reflected improving claims incidence in our group long term disability insurance business compared to the first nine months of 2011. We expect our group insurance benefit ratio to continue to improve as the pricing actions on our long term disability business take hold and the economy improves,” said Greg Ness, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “As we begin 2012, we remain focused on obtaining and retaining profitable business in order to generate superior long-term results.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 5.6% to $723.3 million in the third quarter. The figure rose 2.1% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 5.7% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now beaten estimates the last two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped expectations with net income of 96 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 66 cents per share.

Net income has dropped 24.3% year over year on average across the last five quarters. Performance was hurt by a 54.3% decline in the second quarter from the year earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next quarter performance are higher than they were ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has risen to 86 cents per share from 84 cents. At $3.11 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has risen from $3.08 sixty days ago.

Competitors to Watch: MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CNO), Protective Life Corp. (NYSE:PL), Independence Holding Co. (NYSE:IHC), Kansas City Life Insurance Co (NASDAQ:KCLI), Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE:LNC), Presidential Life Corp (NASDAQ:PLFE), Delphi Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:DFG), Torchmark Corporation (NYSE:TMK), and Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU).

Stock Performance: Shares of SFG were down 0.3% from the previous close.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at