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May 6, 2020

Unum reports 43% earnings downturn for Q1, stemming from investment loss

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), the disability insurer and group benefits provider with a large presence in Maine, on Monday reported a first-quarter earnings decrease of nearly 43% from the same period last year.

Net income from January through March was $161 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, compared to $280.9 million, $1.31 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2019, according to the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Included in net income were after-tax changes in the company's investment portfolio, which during the most recent quarter had a loss of $113.1 million, compared to a gain of $600,000 in the first quarter of 2019.

Excluding the investment loss, operating income was $274.1 million for Q1 of 2020, compared to $280.3 million in the same period, Unum said.

The company also said it is suspending its financial guidance for the remainder of 2020 due to the uncertain economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While our first quarter results were solid, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic contraction have created uncertainty for both businesses and individuals worldwide," President and CEO Richard P. McKenney said in the release.

In late morning trading, shares of Unum were down 5.54%, to $14.34. The company has a market capitalization of $3.1 billion.

Unum, whose Maine roots date to the 1840s, is based in Chattanooga, Tenn. But the company’s largest base remains in the Portland area, with nearly 3,000 employees.

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