Canada's Intact Financial shares gain as results top estimates
* Op EPS C$0.89 vs est C$0.56
* Lower investment gains hurt profit
* Premiums driven by acquisitions
* Shares rise 3 pct
TORONTO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Intact Financial Corp said on Wednesday its quarterly net profit fell 5 percent as higher claims activity and lower investment gains more than offset a sharp rise in premiums.
However, the company's shares rose 3.1 percent as the result topped analysts' estimates.
The Canadian property and casualty insurer earned C$96 million ($96.50 million), or 70 Canadian cents a share, in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30. That was down from a profit of C$101 million, or 87 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
On an operating basis, the company earned 89 Canadian cents a share, well ahead of the profit of 56 Canadian cents a share expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Toronto-based Intact, Canada's largest P&C insurer, is the former Canadian insurance arm of Dutch financial group ING Groep . Its main brands are Belair Direct and Grey Power. Continued...