UPDATE 1-Max Capital Q4 profit trumps Wall Street view

Tue Feb 9, 2010 5:02pm EST

* Q4 oper EPS $1.04 vs est $0.99

* Expenses down 43 pct

* Net investment income marginally up

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Max Capital Group Ltd MXGL.O, reported quarterly profit well above analysts' expectations, helped by lower expenses.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $62.6 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with net loss of $94.1 million, or $1.67 a share, in the year-ago period.

Operating income for the quarter was $60.5 million, or $1.04 a share, reversing a year ago loss of $85.5 million, or $1.52 a share.

Analysts expected the company to earn 99 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total expenses for the quarter fell 43 percent to $200.7 million. Net investment income rose marginally to $44.7 million from $44.2 million. Shares of Max Capital closed at $22.41 in regular session on Nasdaq. The stock has gained 72 percent in value since its low of $13 in early March last year. (Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore ; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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