ACE operating profit falls; forecasts 2013 earnings below estimates

Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:25pm EST

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Insurer ACE Ltd reported a 24 percent fall in quarterly operating profit, hurt by losses resulting from superstorm Sandy, and forecast a full-year profit below analysts' estimates.

The company forecast an operating profit of between $6.60 and $7.00 per share for 2013, below the average analyst forecast of $7.89 per share.

Net earnings rose to $765 million, or $2.22 per share, for the fourth quarter, from $735 million, or $2.15 per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, the Zurich-based property and casualty insurer and reinsurer earned $1.43 per share.

Analysts on average had expected an operating profit of $1.28 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.