Led by fewer natural disasters and stronger investment income, Loews (L) reported on Monday stronger year-over-year earnings and sales.

The New York-based commercial property and casualty insurer posted net income of $177 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $162 million, or 40 cents.

The latest earnings include impairment charges of $166 million at Loews subsidiary HighMount Exploration & Production related to declines in natural gas prices and other factors.

The improvement was led by a decline in catastrophe losses in Loews’ CNA (CNA) subsidiary, as well as investment gains of $4 million compared with a loss of $15 million a year ago.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $3.72 billion, up from $3.4 billion a year ago.

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