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AIG Earnings Double What Analysts Had Expected

CNBC.com With Reuters
Thursday, 2 Aug 2012 | 4:21 PM ET

American International Group reported quarterly earnings Thursday that were more than twice whatWall Street had been expecting as tax benefits boosted results and operating income grew across the company's varied insurance businesses.

AIG
AIG

After the earnings announcement, the insurance company's shares rose slightly in trading after the closing bell. (Click here to get the latest quotes for AIG.)

The company posted second-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.06 per share, up from 69 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Net profit rose to $2.33 billion, or $1.33 per share, from $1.84 billion or $1 a share a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 57 cents a share on $8.84 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Net income was boosted by a tax allowance release of some $1.28 billion, the latest in a series of tax benefits the company has been able to recognize as it returned to profitability. It was partially offset by a tax expense of $331 million and an increase to legal reserves of $450 million.

AIG CEO: When Time Comes, We'll Be Ready to Buy Back Shares
Robert Benmosche, AIG CEO, says the firm's insurance operations and aircraft leasing unit posted solid profits, adding that the company is closer to returning the money it borrowed from the U.S. government.

The company, still 61 percent-owned by the U.S. Treasury after its $182 billion bailout, ended the quarter with roughly $11.5 billion in parent company liquidity.

Analysts and investors expect the company will use a large chunk of that cash to buy back some of the Treasury's stake, perhaps as soon as the next few days.

Some of that capital came from the sale of assets in Maiden Lane III, the crisis-era bailout vehicle set up by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. AIG has already received $6.1 billion in proceeds from MLIII asset sales and expects to receive $1.9 billion this month.

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