UPDATE 3-Travelers to cut auto insurance rates to battle competition

Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:00pm EDT
 
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* Second-quarter operating earnings per share $2.13 vs est $1.60

* Revenue rises 5 pct to $6.67 bln

* Says will cut about 450 jobs

* Shares down 4 pct (Adds conference call details; updates stock move)

By Aman Shah

July 23 (Reuters) - Travelers Cos Inc said it would cut jobs and reduce prices of auto insurance, steps investors took as an indication that rates had risen too far and competition was increasing.

The company's shares fell 4 percent by midday and shares of other insurers also fell.

"The concern is that Travelers was among the leaders pushing price increases, and now they are talking about lowering prices, so that has broader implications for the entire market," Sandler O'Neill & Partners analyst Paul Newsome said.

The company, a Dow Jones Industrial Average component, is the first major insurer to report results and is seen as a bellwether for the industry.   Continued...