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Loews (L) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Down Y/Y

Loews Corporation L reported fourth-quarter 2018 earnings of 36 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 32.1% and plunged 56.6% year over year.

The company witnessed catastrophe losses at CNA Financial Corporation CNA, weak investment results at both CNA and the parent company, and poor operating results at Diamond Offshore DO.

Behind the Headlines

Operating revenues of $3.4 billion decreased 4.7% year over year. Lower net investment income as well as decline in operating revenues and other offset increase in premiums dragged down the top line.

Total expenses increased 13.7% year over year to $3.5 billion on higher insurance claims and policyholders' benefits as well as higher operating expenses.

Loews Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Book value excluding accumulated other comprehensive income as of Dec 31, 2018 was $62.16 per share, up 7.3% from $57.91 as of Dec 31, 2017.

Full-Year Highlights

The company posted earnings of $1.99 per share on $14.1 billion revenues.

The figures represent 42.3% and 2.4% rise over 2017.

Segment Details

CNA Financial’s revenues declined 1.8% from the prior-year quarter to $2.4 billion. Its reported net loss attributable to Loews Corp. was $75 million, which compared unfavorably with $193 million earned in the year-ago quarter. The quarter witnessed lower net investment income reflecting declines in CNA's limited partnership and common equity investments and realized investment losses against realized gains in the prior-year period. Also, the segment incurred underwriting losses in its core property & casualty business in the quarter

Boardwalk Pipeline’s revenues decreased 3.6% year over year to $326 million. Net income plunged 82.8% to $55 million. The company witnessed lower net transportation revenues, resulting primarily from a contract restructuring and reduced rates on contract renewals, offset in part by revenues from growth projects.

Loews Hotels’ revenues improved 5.2% year over year to $181 million. Income from Loews Corp. was $7 million, down 82.5% year over year.

Diamond Offshore’s revenues plunged 34.3% year over year to $234 million. Net loss attributable to Loews Corp. was $58 million, wider than $52 million incurred in the year-earlier quarter. This downside was due to lower revenues on persistently depressed market conditions affecting both rig utilization and average daily revenues.

Share Repurchase Update

The company bought back 20.3 million shares worth $1 billion in 2018. Subsequently, through Feb 8, 2019, it repurchased another 0.9 million shares for $44 million.

Zacks Rank

Loews Corp. has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Another Insurer

The Travelers Companies, Inc. TRV fourth quarter operating earnings per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7.6%.

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