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Loews Profit Slips as Legal Costs Offset Gains

Loews said on Monday third-quarter profit fell 12.5 percent, as the cost of a legal settlement at its CNA Financial offset improved results in tobacco and drilling operations.

A Lowe's shopper returns to his car Monday, Nov. 14, 2005, in San Bruno, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot
A Lowe's shopper returns to his car Monday, Nov. 14, 2005, in San Bruno, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Net income at New York-based Loews, a conglomerate run by the billionaire Tisch family, fell to $555.7 million from $635.1 million a year earlier.

Profit attributable to Loews shareholders fell 21 percent to $410 million, or 77 cents per share, from $517.2 million, or 94 cents.

Analysts on average expected profit of 90 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates. Revenue rose 3 percent to $4.65 billion.

Loews' businesses include financial, tobacco, energy, hotel and watch-making companies.

Profit at Chicago-based CNA, the seventh-largest U.S. commercial insurer, totaled $174 million, or 64 cents per share. Net operating income was $212 million, or 78 cents per share, and excluding investments fell 43 percent to $174 million, or 64 cents per share. The average forecast was for profit of 68 cents per share.

Results at CNA reflected a $108 million charge for a settlement with John Hancock Life Insurance, a unit of Canada's Manulife Financial, regarding four reinsurance contracts. Loews owns 89 percent of CNA.

Earnings at the Lorillard tobacco unit rose 15 percent to $233.6 million. Profit attributable to shareholders of Carolina Group, a Lorillard tracking stock, was $145.7 million, or $1.38 per share. Analysts expected $1.28 per share.