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Mercury General Corp. Reports Third-Quarter Operating Profit

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California auto insurer Mercury General Corp. reported its third-quarter net operating profit rose as the number of premiums written increased by 16 percent.

The company said net operating earnings were $30.2 million, or 56 cents per diluted share, compared with $27.0 million, or 50 cents per share in 2000. The consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call was for earnings of 52 cents per share.

Mercury said company-wide premiums written in the third quarter were $373.7 million, a 16.6 percent increase over the 2000 quarter. California premiums written in the quarter were $325.7 million, a 14.9 percent increase over the previous year’s quarter.

The company also announced that the board of directors has appointed Gabriel Tirador to the position of president and chief operating officer.

Tirador, 37, has served as vice president and chief financial officer since February 1998. In October 2000, his operational duties were expanded to include responsibility over company systems, claims and underwriting operations.


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