Loews Corp L
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/11/2013

Operator: Good morning. My name is Jackie and I will be your conference operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to Loews Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. Thank you.

I will now turn the conference over to Mary Skafidas, Vice President of Investor and Private Relations. Please go ahead.

Mary Skafidas - IR: Thank you, Jackie. Good morning, everyone. I'm Mary Skafidas, and thank you for joining us on our fourth quarter and yearend 2012 earnings conference call. A copy of our earnings release may be found on our website,

On the call this morning we have our Chief Executive Officer, Jim Tisch; and our Chief Financial Officer, Peter Keegan.

Following our prepared remarks this morning, we will have a question-and-answer session. Before we begin, however, I will remind you that this conference call might include statements that are forward-looking in nature. Actual results achieved by the Company may differ materially from those projections made in our forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect circumstances at the time they are made and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

This disclaimer is only a brief summary of the Company's statutory forward-looking statements disclaimers, which is included in the Company's filings with the SEC.

During the call today, we might also discuss non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to our security filings for reconciliation of those most comparable GAAP measures.

I will now turn the call over to Loews' Chief Executive Officer, Jim Tisch.

James S. Tisch - Office of the President, President and CEO: Thank you, Mary, and welcome to Loews Corporation and good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today to discuss Loews' fourth quarter and yearend results. As you know by now, Loews reported earnings for 2012 of $568 million or $1.43 per share as compared to $1.1 billion or $2.62 per share in 2011.

Net income included catastrophe losses at CNA and impairment charges at HighMount which Pete will discuss in more detail later on the call. Absent fees charges our net income for the year, would have been $1.2 billion or $3.14 per share. We ended the year with 391.8 million shares outstanding. We purchased 2.1 million shares during the quarter for $83 million, and 5.6 million shares during the year for $222 million.

Now let's take a closer look at the results of each of our subsidiaries they've spent the prior year moving the growth strategies forward and strengthening their businesses. Turning first to CNA, although fourth quarter earnings declined due to higher catastrophe losses, primarily due to super-storm Sandy, CNA has continued to make progress towards improving its underwriting performance to risk selection and pricing discipline by generating premium growth. CNA's underlying P&C loss ratio excluding catastrophes and prior year developments, continues to improve with a year-over-year decrease of about 1 point. To improve its underwriting performance, CNA is focusing on select customer segments where it has specialized underwriting expertise.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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