Banking & Finance

Hurricane Sandy Drowns Profit for Loews

NYC power outage
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Loews Corp. (NYSE: L) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning.

For the fourth quarter the holding company reported an earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.08 on revenues of $3.71 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.68 on revenues of $3.55 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for an EPS of $0.30.

Casualty losses due to Hurricane Sandy at Loews’ CNA insurance group were the primary cause of the unexpected loss. Excluding an after-tax loss of $171 million and a $97 million impairment charge at its wholly-owned HighMount oil and gas production company, net income on an adjusted basis totaled $236 million ($0.60 per share), compared with a GAAP loss of $32 million.

The company’s 50.4% investment in Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) also posted a loss in the fourth quarter. Diamond’s earnings were down due to an impairment charge on three of the company’s semisubmersible rigs and lower average daily revenue.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners L.P. (NYSE: BWP), in which Loews owns a 55% stake, posted a revenue increase in the fourth quarter, from $301 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, to $325 million.

For the full year, the company reported adjusted EPS of $1.43 on revenues of $14.5 billion, compared with a consensus call for EPS of $1.73 on revenues of $13.97 billion.

Loews did not offer guidance in its news release, but the consensus analysts’ estimate for the current quarter calls for EPS of $1.73. For the year, the estimates call for EPS of $3.44 on revenues of $13.29 billion.

Shares are inactive in this morning’s premarket trading, and closed up 0.3% on Friday, at $43.85 in a 52-week range of $37.58 to $44.13. The consensus target price for the shares was around $46.00 before today’s report.

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