Travelers Cos. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit slipped 17 percent as catastrophe costs rose from bad weather including last month’s North Texas hailstorms and investment income dropped on lower hedge fund returns.
Net income fell to $691 million, or $2.30 a share, from $833 million, or $2.55, a year earlier, New York-based Travelers said. Operating profit was $2.33 a share, missing the $2.55 estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
CEO Alan Schnitzer, who took over late last year for longtime leader Jay Fishman, is confronting near-record-low bond yields and uneven results in some of the alternative holdings — such as private equity and hedge funds.
Two hailstorms that pounded North Texas in March caused an estimated $1.1 billion in damage. And on Thursday, the Insurance Council of Texas estimated that a hailstorm in San Antonio may have been the costliest in Texas history, with damage estimated at nearly $1.4 billion.