Loews adjusted profit falls as Diamond Offshore weighs

Reuters

* Loews 3rd-qtr adj net income fell to $324 mln from $343mln

* 3rd-qtr net investment income falls 5 pct

* CNA Financial's operating income up about 25 pct

Oct 28 (Reuters) - Loews Corp, controlled by thebillionaire Tisch family, reported lower adjusted net income forthe third quarter as profit nearly halved at the conglomerate'sDiamond Offshore Drilling Inc unit and overall investmentincome fell.

The company's adjusted profit fell even though its biggestholding, insurer CNA Financial Corp, reported a 25percent jump in its operating profit due to higher premiumincome and lower non-catastrophe losses.

The hotel, energy and financial services conglomeratereported a 59 percent jump in profit as it booked a smallerimpairment charge in its HighMount Exploration & Production unitin the latest reported quarter.

Net profit rose to $282 million, or 73 cents per share, from$177 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding the charges, adjusted net income fell to $324million from $343 million.

Loews' net investment income fell 5 percent to $647 million.

Diamond Offshore, Loews' second-largest business, said onThursday quarterly profit fell due to previously disclosed cashflow issues for two of its customers.

Net operating income at CNA Financial rose to $269 million,or $1 per share, from $216 million, or 80 cents per share, ayear earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings per share of 76cents for CNA, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"We ... are encouraged by the margin improvement, theongoing favorable rate trends, and the continued shift in ourbook of business toward focus customer segments," CNA ChiefExecutive Thomas Motamed said in a statement.

Shares of Loews, which has a market cap of about $18.82billion, closed at $48.81 on Friday on the New York StockExchange. They have risen about 5 percent since the company lastreported quarterly results.

CNA shares closed at $39.69 on Friday. They touched theiryear high of $39.96 on Oct. 22.

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