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Analysis highlights 'surprising' property/casualty strength in first quarter

Analysis highlights 'surprising' property/casualty strength in first quarter

Property/casualty insurers showed considerable strength in their first-quarter 2012 results, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. said in an analysis released Monday.

“We were surprised by the strength in the quarter,” the KBW analysts said in the report. But going forward, the analysts said they don't believe the first quarter's strength is likely to be repeated.

“We expect that some of the ‘luck' of good weather (in the first quarter) is unlikely to hold and that the pressures of slowing reserve releases and weak investment yields will pressure returns,” the report said.

The report—“1Q12: Surprising Strength in P&C”—noted that reserve releases averaged 4.8% in the first quarter of this year, down from 5.3% the previous year, but that was “still a surprising result,” KBW said.

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