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AIG Posts Sharp Jump in Earnings, Expands Stock Buyback

American International Group , the world's largest insurer by market value, said on Thursday that fourth-quarter earnings rose sharply from a year ago, when results were hurt by a legal settlement, additions to its reserves, and hurricane losses.

Net income was $3.44 billion, or a $1.31 share, compared with $444 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago.

Adjusted net earnings, excluding capital gains and losses and hedging activities, were $3.85 billion, or $1.47 a share. In the year-ago quarter, AIG reported adjusted net profit $376 million, or 14 cents a share from operations.

AIG also expanded its stock buyback plan by $8 billion. AIG says it intends to buy $5 billion worth of common stock during 2007.

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