Loews 1Q Profit Tops Street as CNA Catastrophe Losses Fall

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Published April 30, 2012

| FOXBusiness

Loews (L) revealed a weaker first-quarter profit that topped expectations on Monday, as smaller catastrophe losses and higher investment income at CNA Financial (CNA) only partially offset weaknesses in the oil and gas division.

The New York-based conglomerate, which offers property and casualty insurance and operates hotels and offshore oil rigs, reported net income of $367 million, or 92 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $379 million, or 92 cents.

The decline reflects weaker earnings at Diamond Offshore Drilling, as fewer earning days lowered revenue and contract drilling expenses increased, and HighMount Exploration & Production, on a non-cash impairment charge.

Net investment gains climbed tripled at CNA Financial, the company's largest holding, to $24 million from $8 million a year ago. The division’s after-tax catastrophe losses halved to $18 million during the quarter from $36 million a year ago.

The same period last year was hurt by a series of deathly disasters, including tornados and floods in the Midwest U.S. and an earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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