Loews Corporation (L - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2019 earnings of $1.27 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 30.9% and increased 42.7% year over year.
The improvement stemmed from higher earnings contributed by CNA Financial (CNA - Free Report) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP as well as higher parent company net investment income, which were partially offset by lower earnings at Diamond Offshore (DO - Free Report) .
Behind the Headlines
Operating revenues of $3.7 billion increased 4.3% year over year. Higher premiums and net investment income aided the top line.
Total expenses increased 2.3% year over year to $3.2 billion on higher insurance claims and policyholders' benefits as well as higher operating expenses.
Book value excluding accumulated other comprehensive income as of Mar 31, 2019 was $63.59 per share, up 2.3% from $62.16 as of Dec 31, 2018.
Loews Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
CNA Financial’s revenues increased 6.3% from the prior-year quarter to $2.7 billion. Its reported net loss attributable to Loews Corp. was $305 million, up 16.9% year over year. The quarter witnessed higher net investment income and net investment gains. Also, net retroactive reinsurance benefit under the 2010 loss portfolio transfer with National Indemnity aided the upside.
Boardwalk Pipeline’s revenues increased 2.7% year over year to $346 million. Net income surged 119.4% to $79 million. The company witnessed higher earnings from firm transportation contracts mainly due to growth projects recently placed into service, partially offset by contract restructuring and expirations as well as lower storage and parking and lending revenues.
Loews Hotels’ revenues declined 4.3% year over year to $180 million. Income from Loews Corp. was $13 million, flat year over year. Improved operating performance from several owned hotels was offset by pre-opening expenses incurred at hotels under development and a charge related to the planned disposition of a property.
Diamond Offshore’s revenues plunged 21.1% year over year to $236 million. Net loss attributable to Loews Corp. was $37 million against net income of $10 million in the year-earlier quarter. This downside was due to continuing challenging market conditions.
Share Repurchase Update
The company bought back 6.8 million share for $322 million in the first quarter. Subsequently, through Apr 2, 2019, it repurchased another 1 million shares for $47 million.
Loews currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Another Insurer
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) first-quarter operating earnings per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.5%.
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