Stocks quoted in this article:
Allstate (ALL – 40.73), the nation's number two property insurer, presented pleasing results for the fourth quarter. Profit was up 12 percent, despite lower premiums. Earnings excluding restructuring charges rose from 66 cents per share for the same quarter last year to 80 cents this year, handily beating Street estimates of 72 cents per share. The company is working on making itself more profitable and investors seem to be responding, as the stock price rose 81 percent during 2000.
The most active ALL option so far today is the February 40 call, which has traded 140 contracts on open interest of 2,106. This option is the site of peak front-month call open interest, although some April and July calls have accumulated much higher open interest.