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Nov 3, 2009

US insurer Hartford beats Street, shares up 5 pct

NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Hartford Financial Services
Group Inc <HIG.N>, a large U.S. life and property insurer that
took $3.4 billion in federal aid this year, reported sharply
improved third-quarter results on Tuesday, beating Wall Street
expectations and sending its shares up nearly 5 percent.

The company posted its fifth straight quarterly net loss,
but had a vast improvement from a record loss a year earlier.
Hartford, like many others in the life insurance sector, was
badly battered in late 2008 and into 2009 by massive losses on
stock market-linked annuities and investments.

Nov 3, 2009

Buffett may eye stake sales after rail deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s latest deal — huge even by the billionaire investor’s own standards — could put the Oracle of Omaha in the mood to sell some of his massive portfolio of stakes in marquee U.S. companies.

Before embarking on any more big takeovers, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc <BRKa.N><BRKb.N> could focus on replenishing its coffers by selling some securities’ holdings from the 80-odd companies within the conglomerate, some Buffett watchers said.

Oct 30, 2009

Aon organic brokerage revenue slips; shares fall

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Aon Corp <AOC.N>, the world’s
largest insurance brokerage, said its brokerage unit’s organic
revenue growth declined for the first time in 16 quarters,
sending its shares down nearly 6 percent.

The news overshadowed Aon’s report of slightly higher
third-quarter profit, with operating earnings about in line
with expectations.

Oct 30, 2009

MetLife posts third-quarter loss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – MetLife Inc <MET.N>, the No. 1 U.S. life insurer, posted its third straight quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by investment losses, some of which were tied to improvement in the company’s own credit spreads.

But its operating profit in the latest quarter rose 18 percent, meeting Wall Street expectations.

Oct 30, 2009

U.S. insurer MetLife posts third-quarter loss

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) – MetLife Inc <MET.N>, the No. 1
U.S. life insurer, posted its third straight quarterly loss on
Thursday, hurt by investment losses, some of which were tied to
improvement in the company’s own credit spreads.

But its operating profit in the latest quarter rose 18
percent, meeting Wall Street expectations.

Oct 27, 2009

Swiss insurer Ace profit rises in 3rd-qtr

NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Swiss insurer Ace Limited
<ACE.N> said on Tuesday it posted a higher quarterly profit
because of strong underwriting income and a decline in payouts
linked to U.S. hurricanes.

On an operating basis, the results beat Wall Street
expectations.

“ACE is proving itself to be a reliably solid company,”
said Hexagon analyst David Havens, in an email after the
results. “Profitability has been strong, underwriting results
solid, investment missteps have been avoided, and capital has
remained sound.

Oct 24, 2009

AIG to disburse $12 million in delayed exec payments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AIG <AIG.N>, the insurer that received a huge government bail out, said on Friday it is paying $12.1 million in retention awards to some top executives after U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg gave it the green light.

In a regulatory filing, AIG said Chief Financial Officer David Herzog was paid $1 million, and Kristian Moor, chief executive of AIG’s property-casualty division, Chartis, received $1.6 million.

Oct 22, 2009

Chubb posts higher profit, beating expectations

NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) – U.S. insurer Chubb Corp’s
<CB.N> quarterly profit more than doubled as a dearth of major
catastrophes left the company with much higher underwriting
gains.

On an operating basis, earnings beat Wall Street
expectations and the company raised its outlook for full year
earnings. But Chief Executive John Finnegan warned 2009′s weak
hurricane activity was a stroke of luck that would not
necessarily be repeated and cautioned that policy sales across
the industry were likely to lag a recovery of the U.S.
economy.

Oct 22, 2009

AIG CEO says pay czar won’t claw back pay: memo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche has moved to assure employees that recently appointed U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg will not attempt to claw back compensation.

“It is important that all of you know that the Special Master’s jurisdiction is quite limited, and we expect Feinberg’s upcoming decisions on compensation to cover only the top 25 employees at AIG,” Benmosche said in an internal memo distributed around the company late on Wednesday.

Oct 22, 2009

Travelers Cos profit jumps, tops Wall Street view

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Travelers Cos Inc <TRV.N>, the No. 1 publicly traded U.S. property-casualty insurer, said quarterly profit more than quadrupled, easily beating expectations, as a dearth of costly catastrophes left the company with strong underwriting gains.

The New York-based insurer raised its full-year earnings forecast, approved a 10 percent dividend increase, and authorized a $6 billion share buyback.