EMC Insurance Group Inc. said Thursday profit for the fourth quarter improved as investment income rose, Midwest storm losses declined and premium rates stabilized.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based property and casualty insurer said net income rose to $27.5 million, or $2.10 per share, from $473,540, or 4 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue fell to $111.4 million from $113.7 million a year ago.

The results included investment losses of $381,000, considerably lower than the $9.2 million loss reported in the comparable quarter a year ago. Storm losses were $520,000, compared with more than $2 million a year ago.

Excluding those and other one-time losses and gains, the company reported operating income of 98 cents per share, which matched the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Premiums earned for the quarter fell to $98.7 million from $101.3 million.

The company realized a $9.4 million, or 47 cents per share benefit from prior years' reserves during the quarter, compared with $5.1 million, or 25 cents per share a year ago.

For the year, premiums earned fell 1.4 percent to $384 million.

Premium rates stabilized midyear but did not improve as much as expected because of the weak economy, CEO Bruce Kelley said in a statement.

The company also reported an investment gain of $14.6 million, or $1.11 per share from the sale of Verisk Analytics Inc. common stock during the quarter. The sale was previously reported in connection with Verisk's initial public offering.

For the year, the company reported net income of $45.4 million, or $3.44, up from a loss of $1.7 million, or 13 cents per share a year ago.

EMC Insurance shares fell 9 cents to $20.49 in morning trading.