Hartford Posts 3rd-Qtr Loss, Slashes Year View

By Lilla Zuill and Dan Wilchins
October 30, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG.N), a life and property insurer, swung to a loss in the third quarter, hurt by large investment losses and catastrophe payouts.

On a "core" basis, Hartford lost $422 million, or $1.40 a share. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of $1.53 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company recorded a net loss of $2.6 billion, or $8.74 a share, compared with net profit of $851 million, or $2.68 per share a year earlier.

Net realized capital losses rose to $2.2 billion, from $212 million in the same quarter last year, on an after tax basis, Hartford said.

The insurer earlier this month bolstered capital with a $2.5 billion infusion from German insurer Allianz.

Hartford slashed its full-year earnings expectations. It said it expects 2008 core earnings of between $4.30 and $4.50 per share, compared with an estimate in July of $9.20 to $9.50 a share.

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