Unum Operating Earnings Rise In Second Quarter

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unum, a provider of financial protection benefits in the U.S. and U.K., released its second quarter earnings report Wednesday with results that reflect a strong quarter. The company’s core businesses – Unum US, Unum UK and Colonial Life - produced higher year-over-year operating earnings with some very encouraging sales trends, said officials. Overall, operating earnings per share rose 11 percent, which keeps the company at the upper end of its outlook for the year.

After-tax operating income for the quarter was $234.8 million, or 91? per share, compared to $218.5 million, or 82? per share, in the second quarter of 2013. Net income was $242.5 million, or 94? per share, compared to $218.6 million, or 82? a share, a year ago.

Details are in the attached earnings announcement, including a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures, but here are some highlights from the quarter, said officials:

•Operating income for Unum US rose slightly to $218.8 million, an increase of 2.2 percent over the second quarter of last year. In addition, sales for Unum US increased 40 percent, a sharp jump from last year when market activity was much slower, in large part due to the implementation of healthcare reform. 

•Unum UK continued to deliver solid year-over-year margin improvement and earnings growth, with an 8.3 percent increase in operating income (in local currency). While sales were down about 11 percent, persistency is trending higher relative to the first quarter of this year and premium income rose.

•Colonial Life also delivered strong results, with operating income increasing 5.9 percent to $75.3 million. These solid results were driven by stable risk results and solid premium growth. Sales increased again this past quarter, with a 7.7 percent increase over last year’s results.

•The overall results of our Closed Block, which consists of individual disability and long-term care products which Unum no longer sell but still service, were strong this quarter.  Long-term care continues to be a difficult business to manage, especially in this low interest rate environment.

•The company’s investment portfolio remains in excellent shape, but it, too, is challenged by today’s low interest rates.

•Finally, the company’s capital position is strong, giving Unum significant financial flexibility. The company bought back another $100 million of its stock during the quarter.

“It was another very good quarter for us, rounding out a strong first half of the year,” said President and CEO Tom Watjen. “We are well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead to profitably grow our business by continuing to focus on the things that have contributed to our past success – solid plans, disciplined execution of these plans, and our employees doing their part to support our customers and business.”

Cleveland Utility Executive Director Says It Will Not Get Into TV Business Because Of Shift To Internet-Based Options

Cleveland Utility Executive Director Ken Webb told the Cleveland City Council on Monday that the utility will not get into the TV business because the landscape is changing so fast. Mr. Webb said, "The TV business as we know it is disappearing quickly. It's going to disappear in the next 5-10 years." Referring to such offerings as Netflix and Amazon Prime, he added, "A video ... (click for more)

Blake Strickland Retires After 37-Year Career At Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union

After serving at the helm of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union for 16 years, Blake Strickland, president and CEO, will retire at the end of July following a 37-year career at the Credit Union.   Mr. Strickland began his career at TVFCU as the organization’s first marketing employee in 1978 and held several marketing and operational roles before becoming president ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Declared He Was "An Innocent Man" On Child Pornography Charges Gets Conviction, 24-Year Sentence Overturned

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Chattanooga man who claimed at his trial and sentencing that he was wrongfully convicted by a jury of possession and distribution of child pornography. James Paul Lowe had been sentenced in May to serve 24 years in federal prison. After the sentencing, he had bid his family goodbye and told them to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chanie's Puzzling Poem

Ronnie Joice was in a bar in north London when he spied a poem tacked to the wall. The more he studied it, the more it revealed and, suddenly, he was floored. I don’t need to tell you it has gone viral, cheering people up particularly in England, but it is fun to know it was written by an 11 th -grader at an all-girls school in New York. Chanie Gorkin first posted it on her page ... (click for more)