Unum Group Earnings: Profit Streak Snapped by a Loss

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Unum Group provides group and individual disability products in the United States and provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including longterm care insurance, life insurance and employee-paid group benefits.

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Unum Group Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Reported a loss of $425.4 million ($1.45 per diluted share) in the quarter. The accident and health insurance company had net income of $225.8 million or 71 cents per share in the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 0.5% to $2.6 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Unum Group reported adjusted net income of 78 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 75 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.59 billion.

Quoting Management: “I am very pleased with our continued ability to deliver strong underlying operating results,” said Thomas R. Watjen, president and chief executive officer. “We remain focused on growing in our targeted markets and generating solid profitability in our core businesses, while at the same time maintaining a strong balance sheet and capital position. Exiting long-term care further sharpens our focus around businesses consistent with the strategic direction we have set for our Company. Our disciplined approach is working, as even in this difficult environment we achieved solid operating earnings per share growth in 2011 and finished the year with our highest level of risk-based capital.”

Key Stats:

The company’s loss in the latest quarter follows profits in the previous three quarters. The company reported a profit of $205.6 million in the third quarter, a profit of $229.8 million in the second quarter and $225.4 million in the first.

Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. In the third quarter, revenue rose 0.7% to $2.55 billion while the figure rose 2.1% in the second quarter from the year earlier.

The company topped expectations last quarter after falling short of forecasts in the third quarter with net income of 74 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 75 cents per share.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved down from 78 cents a share to 76 cents over the last ninety days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $2.93 per share, down from $2.96 ninety days ago.

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

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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