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UPDATE:Hartford Swings To Profit As Business Builds Momentum

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califax   Friday, 04/30/10 03:26:56 PM
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UPDATE:Hartford Swings To Profit As Business Builds Momentum

Date : 04/29/2010 @ 6:46PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG)

http://ih.advfn.com/p.php?pid=nmona&article=42600582&symbol=NY^HIG

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), the insurer that repaid its government bailout this year, swung to a first-quarter profit as investment results improved.

But the cost of buying back the government's preferred stake meant common shareholders had a net loss per share of 42 cents. That was still an improvement from the $3.77 a share loss the company reported in the same period a year earlier.

The latest results "reflect building momentum," said Chairman and Chief Executive Liam E. McGee on Thursday. McGee took over from former CEO Ramani Ayer late last year.

Hartford posted better results in its life and property-and-casualty businesses and isn't so severely troubled by the charges and capital losses that plagued it the year prior.

Core earnings, which exclude net realized and unrealized investment results, swung to a 14-cent profit from a loss of $3.66. The latest operating profit includes $1.18 in charges from repurchasing the government's shares and the impact of federal health-care overhaul.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected core earnings of 11 cents.

Net premiums written were flat at $2.5 billion in Hartford's property and casualty business, while core earnings there fell 5.3%.

Assets under management climbed 20%.

Hartford last month repaid the $3.4 billion it received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. McGee also unveiled a new organizational structure just after first quarter's close, saying it will allow the firm to focus on customer growth.

Shares closed at $29.64 and were down less than a percent after hours. The stock has more than doubled in value in the last year.

-By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291; joan.solsman@dowjones.com

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