Chubb's operating profit falls 90 percent on Sandy losses

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:13pm EST

* 4th-qtr oper profit $0.16/shr vs est oper loss $0.45/shr

* Expects oper profit $6.40-$6.80/share for 2013, above est

* $882 mln in before-tax catastrophe losses due to Sandy

* Approves new $1.3 bln share repurchase program

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Chubb Corp's quarterly operating profit fell more than 90 percent as the property and casualty insurer booked catastrophe losses of $882 million before-tax related to superstorm Sandy.

The company, however, forecast operating earnings of between $6.40 and $6.80 per share for 2013, higher than the average analyst estimate of $6.26.

Chubb was one of the most exposed insurers to Sandy, which struck the Northeastern United States on Oct. 29.

The company said on Thursday it had approved a new $1.3 billion share repurchase program to replace a $1.2 billion program suspended while it calculated losses from the storm.

The company had bought back about $979 million of shares under the earlier program.

Chubb's net income for the fourth quarter fell to $102 million, or 38 cents per share, from $452 million or $1.60 per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, Chubb earned 16 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chubb has not posted an operating loss on a per-share basis since the third quarter of 2002, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The company's shares were little changed in extended trading after closing at $80.31 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article