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Loews 2Q net income tumbles on hefty charge

NEW YORK (AP) -- Loews Corp.'s net income plunged 78 percent in the second quarter as the diversified holding company took a large charge because it lowered the value of its natural gas and oil properties due to declining prices.

Loews, which is controlled by New York's Tisch family, owns Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., HighMount Exploration & Production LLC, CNA Financial and Loews Hotels.

The company reported Monday that its net income fell to $56 million, or 14 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30 compared with $250 million, or 61 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Removing the impairment charge of $142 million at its energy properties, earnings were $198 million.

Revenue slipped 4 percent to $3.39 billion from $3.54 billion.

Loews said Monday that earnings at Diamond Offshore fell because fewer rigs were used in the quarter as more of them underwent special surveys. The division also dealt with higher contract drilling expenses. The performance was somewhat offset by the sale of five rigs.

Boardwalk Pipeline's earnings rose mostly because of the December 2011 acquisition of Boardwalk HP Storage Co.