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Loews loses money in 4Q partly due to Sandy

NEW YORK (AP) -- The diversified holding company Loews lost $32 million in its fourth quarter, hurt by insurance losses due to Superstorm Sandy and declining natural gas prices.

The company controlled by the Tisch family of New York reported Monday that its loss amounted to 8 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with a profit of $271 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out $243 million in catastrophe losses mostly related to Superstorm Sandy and $433 million in impairment charges tied to declining prices of natural gas and liquefied natural gas, net income was $236 million.

Revenue climbed 7 percent to $3.71 billion from $3.48 billion.

Insurance subsidiary CNA Financial was pressured by the higher catastrophe losses from Sandy, while HighMount Exploration & Production was hurt by the charge related to the falling natural gas and liquefied natural gas prices.

Boardwalk Pipeline's earnings rose mostly because of recent acquisitions and reduced general and administrative expenses.

For the year, Loews Corp. earned $568 million, or $1.43 per share. In the prior year the New York company earned $1.06 billion, or $2.62 per share. Annual revenue increased 3 percent to $14.55 billion from $14.13 billion.

Loews also owns a 55 percent interest in Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, and HighMount Exploration & Production and Loews Hotels are wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Loews shares finished at $43.85 on Friday. Its shares hit a 52-week high of $44.13 on Feb. 5 and traded as low as $37.58 last February.