Hit by higher catastrophe losses from Hurricane Sandy at its CNA Financial (CNA) commercial insurance business, conglomerate Loews (L) said Monday it swung to a net fourth-quarter loss of $32 million.

Loews, which is controlled by the Tisch family and also has business interests in hotels and energy companies, owns a 90% stake in Chicago-based CNA.

Loews said it lost $32 million, or 8 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $271 million, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 4.5% to $3.71 billion.

Meanwhile, CNA logged a loss of $9 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a profit of $190 million, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 4 cents.

Loews cited higher catastrophe losses of $171 million tied to Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into the East Coast in the fall. CNA said Hurricane Sandy fueled $190 million in after-tax losses, compared with catastrophe losses of $11 million a year earlier.

“Our results in the fourth quarter were materially affected by (Hurricane) Sandy,” CNA CEO Thomas Motamed said in a statement.

At the same time, Loews said its income before net investment losses and ceiling test impairment charges tumbled to $67 million from $311 million.

Shares of Loews, which were inactive in premarket trading, have gained about 7.6% so far in 2013, while CNA is up 13.5%.

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