U.S. Markets closed

AIG shares fall after mixed quarterly results

The Associated Press

American International Group Inc. shares fell sharply Friday, a day after the insurer reported a mixed third-quarter performance.

THE SPARK: AIG said Thursday that its quarterly profit rose 17 percent as its core insurance business improved, meeting the market's profit forecasts.

But it said that its property and casualty unit paid out more in claims than it took in during the third quarter. It reported a combined ratio of 101.6 in its property and casualty operation. A number below 100 indicates an underwriting income; more than 100 means it had a loss.

THE BIG PICTURE: AIG got the biggest bailout of the financial crisis five years ago. It has repaid the bailout money and has undergone a massive restructuring that cut its size in half as it focused on its core insurance business.

THE ANALYSIS: Sterne Agee analysts said in a research note that the company benefited from a one-time tax benefit and another special item that made the quarter's earnings look better than it otherwise would have been. They also said that they were struck by the CEO's comments on CNBC that seemed to indicate the company could fall short of some of its aspirational goals for 2015. The analysts said they believe the company's forecast for 2014 and 2015 is too aggressive. They maintained a "Neutral" rating and a price target of $50.

SHARE ACTION: Shares fell $3.15, or 6.1 percent, to $48.51 by midday. Its shares have risen more than 46 percent since the start of the year.