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Loews Logs 4Q Loss as CNA Slammed by Sandy

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%.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5