(By Balachander) Loews Corp. (NYSE: L) posted a quarterly loss due to higher catastrophe losses and charges at the financial and energy services company's subsidiaries.
Net loss was $32 million or $0.08 per share for the fourth quarter, compared with earnings of $271 million or $0.68 per share in the comparable period of last year. On a non-GAAP basis, earnings were $236 million.
Fourth-quarter loss included catastrophe losses of $171 million at the company's CNA Financial Corp. (CNA) subsidiary and the after tax ceiling test impairment charge of $97 million at HighMount Exploration & Production subsidiary.
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Revenue increased 6.3 percent to $3.70 billion as net investment inched up nearly 1 percent. Insurance premiums grew 7 percent.
Contract drilling revenue rose 1 percent.
As at Dec. 31, 2012, book value per share was $49.67, up from $47.33 at December 31, 2011. There were 391.8 million shares of Loews common stock outstanding at the end of last year.
New York-based Loews operates primarily as a commercial property and casualty insurance company. It also owns and operates drilling rigs that are used in the drilling of offshore oil and gas wells on a contract basis for companies engaged in exploration and production of hydrocarbons.
The stock, which has been trading between $37.58 and $44.13 over the past year, closed Friday's regular trading at $43.85.