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Loews Quarterly Profit Falls on Insurance, Drilling

Posted on 03 Aug 2009

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Loews Corp., the holding company run by New York's Tisch family, said income from continuing operations fell 33 percent on lower profit from insurance and oil drilling.

Loews earned $341 million, compared with $511 million a year earlier, not counting operations such as a tobacco business the firm no longer owns, the New York-based company said in a statement today. Operating income, which also excludes some investment results, was $1.19 a share.

Investment losses at business insurer CNA Financial Corp. weighed on results along with declines at Loews’ hotel and energy-exploration businesses. Consumers have cut back on travel and coverage amid the recession, and U.S. commercial insurance rates have fallen in every quarter since 2004. Crude oil futures and natural gas prices slipped in the past year, reducing demand for drilling operations.

Policy sales of property and casualty coverage slipped 6.6 percent to $1.6 billion as “current economic conditions” led companies to scale back on coverage, CNA said today in a statement.

CNA said today that second-quarter net income dropped 42 percent to $105 million from $181 million in the year earlier period. CNA’s net realized investment losses widened to $199 million from $71 million in the year-earlier period. Loews owned 90 percent of Chicago-based CNA as of April 1.