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AIG posts fourth-quarter profit, raises dividend

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Insurer American International Group Inc posted a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, and raised its quarterly dividend.

AIG shares rose 3 percent in extended trading.

The company reported net income of $1.98 billion, or $1.34 per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $3.96 billion, or $2.68 per share, a year earlier.

The year-earlier quarter included a net loss of $4.4 billion related to the sale of AIG's aircraft leasing business and after-tax catastrophe losses of $1.3 billion from superstorm Sandy.

On an operating basis, the company earned $1.70 billion, or $1.15 per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 96 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the reported figure was comparable.

AIG raised its quarterly dividend to 12.5 cents per share from 10 cents and authorized an additional share buyback of up to $1 billion.

The company, which was nearly wiped out by its derivative bets during the financial crisis, restarted paying dividends last year after it repaid the $180 billion taxpayer bailout it received in 2008.

The company's shares closed at $49.59 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.