Unum Group boosted its operating earnings per share by 9.6 percent in the first quarter, beating analysts expectations by 2 cents per share.
But net income for the Chattanooga-based insurer still fell below year-ago levels because of adjustments from after-tax actuarial and investment returns. Revenue rose 0.52 percent over last year to $2.63 billion in the first quarter.
Unum reported first quarter net income of $212.6 million, or 79 cents per share. A year ago, Unum reported net income of $213.9 million, or 73 cents per share. Excluding nonrecurring items, Chattanooga's biggest company earned 80 cents per share, which exceeded most analysts forecasts for the quarter.
"The first quarter represented a good start to the year, with growth in operating earnings per share of 9.6 percent and an increase in book value per share of 12 percent," Unum CEO Tom Watjen said in a statement late Wednesday. "We are, however, maintaining a cautious outlook for 2013, and expect little near-term improvement in either employment growth, interest rates, or in general business confidence. While this may slow our ability to profitably grow our business in the short-term, we continue to believe we are well positioned to operate in this environment and deliver value for our customers and shareholders."
Unum U.S. operations reported operating income of $208.1 million in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 1.1 percent from $205.9 million in the first quarter of 2012.
But Unum UK reported operating income of $31.3 million in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 19.3 percent from $38.8 million in the first quarter of 2012.