UPDATE 1-Insurer Assurant’s Q3 profit tops estimates

* Q3 oper EPS $1.27 vs est $1.20

* Assurant Specialty oper profit $5.3 mln vs year-ago loss
$4.8 mln

* Employee benefits segment oper income up 47 pct

Oct 27 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. specialty insurer Assurant Inc
(AIZ.N: ) reported quarterly profit above Wall Street estimates,
as its health unit turned profitable and posted a higher income
at its employee benefits segment.

Net income for the July-Sept quarter was $141.7 million, or
$1.30 a share, compared with $144.7 million, or $1.22 a share,
in the year-ago period.

Operating profit — a key measure of profitability for
insurance companies — was $1.27 a share.

Analysts were looking at earnings of $1.20 a share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Assurant Health earned $5.3 million for the third quarter,
compared with a loss of $4.8 million in year-ago period.

Assurant employee benefit segment’s net operating income
jumped 47 percent to $16.9 million.

Shares of the New York-based company closed at $41.30
Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Assurant’s mean price
target is $43.83, according to Starmine data, which indicates
analysts expect the shares to rise 6 percent in the next 12
months. Most of these analysts have a ‘hold’ rating on the
(Reporting by Abhinav Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni

UPDATE 1-Insurer Assurant’s Q3 profit tops estimates