Insurance company ACE reports lower 4Q net income

Posted on by Condo Owner Magazine

ZURICH — Insurance company ACE Ltd. said Tuesday that fourth-quarter net income fell 25 percent, which the company blamed on what it called a record year for natural-catastrophe losses.

Net income fell to $750 million, or $2.20 per share, from $1 billion, or $2.92 per share.
Earnings per share were $1.94 after stripping out one-time charges and gains, beating the $1.78 predicted by analysts polled by FactSet.

CEO Evan Greenberg called the period “a very good fourth quarter” considering “the record natural catastrophe losses the industry incurred globally,” such as that from flooding in Thailand.

He noted that in the second half of the year, commercial property-and-casualty insurance prices rose in both the U.S. and some overseas markets, which should help the insurance company.

ACE said it is predicting $475 million in pre-tax catastrophe losses for 2012, up from last year’s guidance of $370 million.

For the year, net income plummeted to 49 percent, to $1.59 billion from $3.11 billion.
The results were released after the market closed. Shares fell 1 cent after hours after rising about 1 percent during the day.

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