The Travelers Companies Inc TRV
Q3 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 10/21/2010

Operator: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Third Quarter Earnings Review for Travelers. We ask that you hold all questions until the completion of formal remarks, at which time you will be given instructions for the question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this call is being recorded today, Thursday, October 23, 2010.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Ms. Gabriella Nawi, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Ms. Nawi, you may now begin.

Gabriella Nawi - SVP, IR: Thank you, Frank. Good morning and welcome to Travelers' discussion of our third quarter 2010 results. Hopefully all of you have seen our press release, financial supplement, and webcast presentation released earlier this morning. All of these materials can be found on our website at under the investor section.

Speaking today will be Jay Fishman, Chairman and CEO; Jay Benet, Chief Financial Officer; and Brian MacLean, President and Chief Operating Officer. Other members of senior management are also in the room, available for the question-and-answer period. They will discuss the financial results of our business and the current market environment. They will refer to the webcast presentation and then we will open it for questions.

Before I turn it to Jay, I would like to draw your attention to the explanatory note on page one of the webcast. Our presentation today includes forward-looking statements. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statement involves risks and uncertainties, and is not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. These factors are described in our earnings press release and in our most recent 10-Q and 10-K filed with the SEC. We do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Also in our remarks or responses to questions, we may mention some non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations are included in our recent earnings press release, financial supplement, and other materials that are available in the Investor section on our website,

With that out of the way, here is Jay Fishman.

Jay S. Fishman - Chairman and CEO: Thank you, Gabby. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. We're very pleased with our third quarter results having posted net income of $2.11 per share, an increase of 28% over last year, and operating income of $1.81 per share, a 12% increase over last year's amount. Operating return on equity was a strong 14.3%, and we experienced very solid underwriting results across each of our business segments. Our consolidated GAAP combined ratio was 19.6%.

In an insurance pricing environment that remains largely flat in the commercial businesses, we were pleased to produce an increase of 2% net written premiums for the quarter. Investment returns remained reduced from historical patterns as remarkably low interest rates, particularly short rates, continue to impact net investment income. Lastly we've grown our book value from year end 2009 by 13% to $59.11, all-in a very strong quarter.

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