AIG Earnings Top Expectations, but Revenue Misses

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

AIG on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings that beat market expectations, driven primarily by higher operating income in its property and casualty business.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares climbed in extended-hours trading. (Click here to get latest quote.)

Net income fell 31.2 percent to $2.2 billion, or $1.49 a share, from $3.2 billion, or $1.71 a share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding items, earnings declined 18.8 percent to $1.34 a share from $1.65 a share a year ago.

Revenue decreased 13 percent to $8.56 billion from $8.69 billion in the same quarter last year.

Analysts had expected AIG to report earnings excluding items of 87 cents a share on $8.64 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"We've emerged from this crisis and now you seeing the strength of our earnings capabilities going forward," AIG CEO Robert H. Benmosche told CNBC.

"Although we've had some catastrophes," he said, "we've added to the reserve over the last four or five quarters."

With interest rates low, the AIG chief said the company needs to be more creative. He said the company is looking at buying mortgages directly, doing more direct commercial lending and is examining investing in rental real estate. "There are a lot of things we can do, but we can't rely on public markets anymore," Benmosche said.

—Reuters contributed to this report