Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) reported a fall in the first quarter earnings by 34 percent owing to higher impairment charges and an unimpressive performance from its insurance unit, CNA Financial Corp (NYSE:CNA).
For the first quarter, the conglomerate posted a profit of $242 million or 62 cents a share, versus a profit of $367 million, or 92 cents a share a year-earlier. Excluding the impairment charges, adjusted net income came in at $334 million from $395 million a year earlier. Revenues for the company were up marginally by 0.3 percent to $3.73 billion. Revenue from insurance premiums, the company’s largest top-line contributor, was up 7 percent.
The impairment charges relate to HighMount Exploration & Production LLC unit. The Group led by New York’s Tisch family has been forced to write down the value of its natural gas and oil properties to account for the decline in the prices of natural gas and natural gas liquids. For the first quarter, the company took a charge of $92 million at HighMount, compared to $28 million a year ago.
Insurance unit CNA Financial reported a profit of $250 million, or 93 cents a share, which was similar to that of last year. Excluding investment results, the unit’s operating profit came in at 86 cents a share compared to 84 cents a year ago. The earnings beat the average analyst forecast of 7 cents. CNA Financial, which is owned 90 percent by Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), contributes about two-thirds of Loews Corporation (NYSE:L)’s revenue. Premiums written from property and casualty operations were up 10 percent.
The firm attributed the drop in net income to “reduced parent company investment income as a result of lower performance for the trading portfolio.” Investment income for the first quarter came in at $7 million against $76 million in the first quarter of 2012.
The groups other vital holding, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE:DO), told earlier this month that it’s first quarter earnings were down 5 percent due to lower revenue and an earlier period profit that included an asset-sale gain. Anther important holding, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYSE:BWP) profit was up 9.5 percent owing to improved operating revenue.
The company did not provide any guidance for the second quarter, but analysts expect an EPS of $0.82. For the full year, EPS is expected to come in at $3.41 on revenues of $13.29 billion.
On Friday, Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) shares closed at $44.44, and CNA shares closed at $33.39. In recent pre-market trading, shares of both companies were inactive.