Loews profit rises as catastrophe losses at CNA fall

Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:05pm EDT

* Loews Q3 EPS $0.45 vs $0.40 yr earlier

* CNA oper. EPS $0.80 vs $0.34 yr earlier

* CNA Catastrophe loss down 44 pct

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Hotels, energy and financial services conglomerate Loews Corp's third-quarter profit rose, helped by higher investment income and lower catastrophe losses at CNA Financial Corp, its largest holding.

Catastrophe losses after tax at CNA Financial - in which Loews has a 90 percent stake - fell to $18 million, in the third quarter, from $32 million a year earlier.

Net operating profit at the seventh-largest commercial insurer in the United States rose to $216 million, or 80 cents per share, from $91 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

Insurance companies like Travelers Cos Inc and Chubb Corp reported record profits as they benefited from lower catastrophe losses and an increase in insurance rates.

Loews, run by the billionaire Tisch family, said net investment income for the third quarter more than doubled to $682 million from the earlier year.

Net income attributable to Loews rose to $177 million, or 45 cents per share, from $162 million, or 40 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue increased 8 percent to $3.71 billion from the previous year.

Revenue from Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc, in which Loews has a 50.4 percent stake, fell to $234 million from $335 million.

Shares of Loews, which has a market value of about $16.8 billion, closed at $42.39 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

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