Hartford Financial Posts Loss on Sour Investments

The Hartford

Hartford Financial Services said it lost $15 million in the second quarter, weighed down by losses on investments and a decline in premiums.

Still, the U.S. property and life insurer, which received $3.4 billion in federal aid to shore up its finances, posted core earnings that were higher than analysts' estimates.

The insurer said it lost 6 cents per share in the period ended June 30. That compares with a profit of $543 million, or $1.73 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, core earnings came in at $622 million, or $1.90 per share, down 11 percent from $696 million, or $2.22 a share, in the second quarter of 2008.

Thomson Reuters said analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.16 per share.

Total assets under management declined 15 percent to $352.07 billion from $416.27 billion in the second quarter of last year.

Hartford shares, which closed up 1.36 percent at $14.96, rose after the market closed.

Hartford's shares have fallen roughly 80 percent from a 52-week high of $68.35 last Aug. 6, as heavy losses on investments and its sales of stock-market linked retirement annuities eroded capital. The stock has partly recovered from its year-low of $3.33 in March.

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Reuters contributed to this report