AIG's Sandy losses overshadow unit sale news

AIG's Sandy losses overshadow news of sale of up to 90 pct. of airplane leasing unit

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- News of American International Group's estimated $1.3 billion in losses related to Superstorm Sandy is overshadowing the insurer's announcement that it will sell up to 90 percent of its airplane leasing unit to a Chinese investor group for approximately $5.28 billion.

AIG announced on Sunday that it will keep at least 10 percent of its airplane leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp. The deal is expected to close in 2013's second quarter.

AIG has been selling parts of its business to raise money to pay back the $182 billion bailout that it received from the government during the financial crisis of 2008. It was the biggest of the government's bailouts.

On Friday AIG estimated that it will take $1.3 billion in losses related to Superstorm Sandy. The losses estimate is after taxes and include reinsurance recoveries.

The New York company said that it will contribute about $1 billion to its U.S. property casualty insurance units to help offset the losses, which are after taxes and include reinsurance recoveries.

UBS's Brian Meredith said in a client note that AIG's Sandy-related losses are above his $1 billion estimate. The analyst maintained a "Neutral" rating and cut the insurer's price target to $35 from $36.

He also lowered his fourth-quarter forecast to a loss of 18 cents per share from earnings of 28 cents per share and revised his full-year earnings estimate to $3.75 from $4.16 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect earnings of 11 cents for the fourth quarter and $3.95 for the year.

Shares of American International Group Inc. shed 76 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $33.37 in afternoon trading Monday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $22.19 last December to $37.67 in mid-October.

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