Loews profit falls 34 percent on lower investment income

Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:12am EDT

(Reuters) - Hotel, energy and financial services conglomerate Loews Corp (L.N) reported a 34 percent drop in first-quarter profit due to higher impairment charges and a sharp fall in investment income.

Net income at the company controlled by the billionaire Tisch family fell to $242 million, or 62 cents per share, from $367 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier.

The fall was mainly due to a sharp decline in the net investment income for the quarter to $5 million from $50 million a year earlier.

During the quarter, Loews also took an impairment charge of $92 million at its HighMount Exploration & Production unit related to the value of its natural gas and oil properties.

A year earlier, HighMount had impairment charges of $28 million.

Loews, which has interests ranging from insurance and luxury hotels to energy exploration and natural gas pipelines, said revenue remained largely flat at $3.73 billion.

Separately, Loews' largest holding, CNA Financial Corp (CNA.N), said operating income rose marginally to $231 million, or 86 cents per share, from $226 million, or 84 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected CNA Financial to earn 71 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Another unit, Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO.N), which accounts for about a quarter of Loews's revenues, reported first-quarter results above analysts' expectations last week, helped by higher utilization of its deepwater units.

Loews's shares closed at $44.44 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

(Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)