* May not complete planned repurchases by January
* Shares down 9 pct in last three weeks
* Analyst says property insurers' shares oversold
Nov 9 Property insurer Chubb Corp, a
major player in the U.S. Northeast, has suspended share buybacks
because it is unsure how large its losses will be from
Chubb, in a quarterly filing late Thursday, said the
temporary halt was necessary to comply with securities laws
because it cannot yet estimate Sandy's impact.
"As a result, it is possible that we may not complete the
repurchase of all of the shares under our current share
repurchase authorization by the end of January 2013, as
previously contemplated," the company said.
Chubb, one of the most aggressive repurchasers of its own
shares in the insurance industry, had $357 million left on its
existing buyback program as of Sept. 30.
Chubb shares fell 0.7 percent to $73.91 in morning trading.
Since hitting a new all-time on Oct. 18, the stock is down 9
Chubb is considered one of the most-exposed insurers to
Sandy, given its market share in the affected region. Industry
players now generally agree that last week's storm is likely to
have caused at least $20 billion in insured losses.
"When comparing lost market capitalization relative to our
expected Sandy charges, all of these stocks appear to have
over-discounted the losses," Langen McAlenney analyst Larry
Greenberg said in a note Friday on Chubb and its peers.