Superstorm Sandy pushes CNA Financial to 4Q loss

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News,Business

CHICAGO (AP) — Insurer CNA Financial reported a loss for its fourth quarter as it dealt with claims related to Superstorm Sandy.

The Chicago company, which is subsidiary of diversified holding company Loews Corp., lost $9 million, or 3 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with net income of $193 million, or 71 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 5 cents per share.

CNA said that the impact from Sandy, including reinstatement premiums, was $190 million after taxes. This compares with $11 million in catastrophe losses after taxes in the prior-year period.

Operating revenue was flat at $9 million.

For the year, CNA Financial Corp. earned $628 million, or $2.33 per share. In the prior year the company earned $612 million, or $2.27 per share. Annual operating revenue climbed 25 percent to $45 million from $36 million.

CNA also announced Monday that it is raising its quarterly dividend by 33 percent to 20 cents per share from 15 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on March 7 to shareholders of record on Feb. 21.

Parent Loews reported that it lost money in its fourth quarter, mostly because of losses tied to Sandy and declining natural gas prices.

CAN shares finished at $31.80 on Friday. They had hit a 52-week high of $31.96 in Feb. 1 and traded as low as $25.71 in August 2012.

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