TORONTO, July 31 Fairfax Financial Holdings
, the Canadian property and casualty insurer run by
investment authority Prem Watsa, said on Thursday it rebounded
to profit in the second quarter from a year-earlier loss due to
gains in its investment portfolio and stronger underwriting
The Toronto-based company said it earned $363.7 million, or
$16.15 a share, in the quarter. That compared with a year-before
loss of $157.8 million, or $8.55 a share.
Fairfax, which has hedged the bulk of its stock portfolio
since 2010, posted net investment gains of $409 million during
the quarter as strength in its equity and bond investments more
than offset losses from its equity hedges.
That compared with a net investment loss of $415.7 million
in the second quarter of 2013.
Fairfax said in a statement that 85 percent of the stock
portfolio is currently hedged.
Operating income from Fairfax's insurance and reinsurance
operations was $202.2 million in the quarter, up from $187.5
million a year earlier, due to improved underwriting.
Since taking over the company in 1985, Watsa has built a
reputation as a shrewd investor with moves such as betting
against the U.S. housing market and then reaping huge profits
when the market collapsed five years ago.
(Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway)