Hot Finance stock to watch: Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE: HIG)

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE: HIG) stock rose over 3.9% on 5th November, 2019 (as of 10:12 am GMT-5; Source: Google finance) after the company posted better than expected earnings for the third quarter of FY 19. The company has delivered the third quarter 2019 net income available to common stockholders of $524 million, up 21% from third quarter 2018. The company reported the 31% increase in the core earnings to $548 million compared to third quarter 2018, primarily due to lower current accident year catastrophes, a lower group disability loss ratio and higher net investment income. The book value per diluted share rose 23% to $43.13 from $35.06 at Dec. 31, 2018, due to a 23% increase in common stockholders’ equity. HIG has posted the third quarter 2019 net income available to common stockholders ROE of 12% compared to net loss ROE of 14% in third quarter 2018.

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Moreover, for Commercial Line, the company has reported the 16% increase in the net income to $336 million from third quarter 2018 mainly due to higher net investment income, higher net realized capital gains and, to a lesser extent, a higher underwriting gain, which was partially offset by higher integration costs related to the Navigators acquisition. For Personal Line, the company has reported the 84% increase in the net income to $94 million from third quarter 2018 mainly due to lower current accident year catastrophe losses. The increase in the net investment income and an increase in net realized capital gains were partially offset by lower earned premiums. For Group Benefits, the company has reported the 90% increase in the net income to $146 million from third quarter 2018 mainly due to lower group disability loss ratio, a change to net realized capital gains and the effect of tax expense in third quarter 2018 due to deferred tax adjustments, which was partially offset by higher insurance operating costs and other expenses.

HIG in the third quarter of FY 19 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $1.50, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of $1.24, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters analysts’ estimates.

During the third quarter, HIG has repurchased 1.1 million common shares for $63 million and paid $111 million in common dividends. Year-to-date through September 30, 2019 the share repurchases had totaled 1.6 million common shares for $90 million, with $910 million remaining under its $1 billion authorization

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