Loews Corp Q3: Reports Profit on Higher Revenues

| About: Loews Corporation (L)
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Loews Corporation’s (NYSE:L) third quarter income from continuing operations came in at $1.08 per share compared to a loss of 33 cents in the year-ago quarter. Results primarily reflected a 26% year-over-year increase in revenues.

The improved results were driven by increased investment income and a considerable reduction in investment losses at CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA) and strong results at Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE:DO). Also, the results reflect a strong rebound in investment income, primarily from improved limited partnership results.

CNA Financial Corporation’s operating income increased to $304 million from $76 million in the prior-year period. Diamond Offshore experienced a strong quarter with $170 million of earnings, up 17% year-over-year.

However, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP’s (NYSE:BWP) earnings decreased to $9 million from $31 million in the year-ago period. Reported earnings for the quarter were significantly reduced due to the shutting down of portions of its pipeline as part of its remediation efforts. HighMount Exploration & Production LLC’s earnings decreased to $40 million from $47 million reported a year earlier. Also, Loews Hotels incurred a loss of $15 million compared to earnings of $6 million, primarily due to impairment charges related to two properties.

Net investment income from the holding company came in at $41 million, compared to a loss of $57 million reported a year ago. Reported book value increased to $39.54 per share at Sept. 30, 2009, from $34.60 at June 30, 2009 and $30.18 at Dec. 31, 2008. The increase was due primarily to a $1.7 billion (after tax) improvement in fair value of the company’s fixed maturities investment portfolio.

During the reported quarter, Loews acquired 3.5 million shares of its common stock for about $111 million. From Oct. 1, 2009 through Oct. 28, 2009, the company purchased an additional 991,500 shares of its common stock for roughly $33 million.

Loews Corporation, a holding company, is one of the largest diversified corporations in the United States. Its principal subsidiaries are CNA Financial Corporation, a 90% owned subsidiary; Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc., a 50.4% owned subsidiary; HighMount Exploration & Production LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary; Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP, a 72% owned subsidiary; and Loews Hotels, a wholly owned subsidiary.