Loews (NYSE:L) revealed a weaker first-quarter profit that topped expectations on Monday, as smaller catastrophe losses and higher investment income at CNA Financial (NYSE: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.
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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.