Aegon Insurance's profits rose 28% in quarter, or 78 a share Dutch company owns Monumental General

November 11, 1995|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,SUN STAFF

Aegon Insurance Group said its third-quarter earnings rose 28 percent in dollars, as favorable trends for the Dutch insurance company continued in both the United States and Europe but were undercut by losses in the value of the dollar against Dutch currency in the past year.

The company employs about 900 people in Maryland, where it has its U.S. headquarters and two operating subsidiaries, Monumental Life Insurance Co. and Monumental General Insurance Group.

Aegon USA serves about 2 percent of the U.S. insurance market, making it the largest foreign-based insurer in the United States.

Aegon earned $205 million during the three months that ended in September, or 78 cents per share. The company earned $160 million in the same period of 1994. But the 28 percent gain in dollars worked out to just an 11 percent profit in guilders.

"The dollar got whipped," said Rosemary Kostmayer, Aegon USA's spokeswoman. "Thirty-five percent of the business comes from the United States, so the dollar means a lot."

The quarter was "a tad better than expectations, but we have a long-term buy recommendation on this stock," said Simon Rudolph, an analyst with Morgan Stanley International in London.

Aegon's announcement contained a more bullish prediction for late 1995 than the company previously had made, saying its 1995 profits would likely post a gain of more than 12 percent over last year. Analysts had expected the gain to 10-12 percent, Mr. Rudolph said.

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