Loews 2Q Profit Slammed by Disasters

By FOXBusiness

Loews (NYSE:L) said Monday that its second-quarter profit tumbled 31% on higher natural catastrophe losses, adding to a long list of property insurers that have reported weaker results due to a string of deadly tornados earlier this year in the Midwest.

The commercial property and casualty insurer booked net income of $252 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $366 million, or 87 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, missing average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 74 cents.

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The New York-based company attributed the weaker year-over-year profit to unusually stronger results in the prior year as well as higher natural catastrophe losses in 2011, partially offset by improved earnings at Diamond Offshore Drilling.

Property insurers have seen profits soften in recent quarters because of catastrophic tornados in March and April in the Midwest. Bigger rival Allstate (NYSE:ALL) reported a steep second-quarter loss of $620 million on Monday because of the devastating storms.

Loews, which owns 90% of CNA Financial, said CNAs profit slid to $126 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with $283 million, or 96 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.