American International Group (AIG) is forecast to report a fourth-quarter loss of $16.98 a share on Thursday, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, while analysts polled by FactSet predicted a loss of $20.39 a share.
AIG could end up reporting its ninth quarterly loss in the last three years, depending on the final numbers. AIG has lost more than $75 billion in total since the Federal bailout.
But most investors will be looking at how SunAmerica and Chartis Inc., AIG's two main ongoing businesses, fared during the quarter. Their performance is key for the future of what had been the world's largest insurer, which was saved by a $182 billion government bailout and is now starting the process of returning to public control.
"It's a typical corporate execution story with the unfortunate fact that the share price is going to be constrained for the period that the United States is divesting it," said Clark Troy, an analyst at the Aite Group.
He said the success of its underlying operations is more important for AIG than for other companies, in that other companies can also grow by acquisition if needed and AIG, for the moment, cannot.