Industrial Alliance shares rise on stronger profit

Wed Nov 6, 2013 11:56am EST
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* Profit tops expectation

* Shares up as much as 6 pct, hit record high

* First Canadian life insurer to report Q3 results

TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Shares of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services rallied as much as 6 percent on Wednesday after the life insurer, Canada's fourth largest, reported a stronger than expected quarterly profit.

The company, the first of Canada's large life insurers to report third-quarter results, said net income attributed to common shareholders was C$105.8 million ($101.28 million), or C$1.07 a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

That compared with a year-earlier profit of C$103.3 million, or C$1.09 a share, when Industrial Alliance's results were boosted by an after-tax gain of C$37.4 million on the sale of the company's U.S. annuities business.

The profit beat analysts' estimates of 85 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"(The results) were materially ahead of expectations," RBC Capital Markets analyst Andre-Philippe Hardy said in a note, pointing to the impact of stronger equity markets, hedging results and individual insurance gains.

The shares jumped by as much as 6 percent to a record high of C$49.99 in early trading, before paring gains to a 2.1 percent rise to C$48.15 late in the morning.   Continued...