The Hartford Financial Services Group reported fourth quarter operating earnings of $1.06 per share versus $1.09 per share in the fourth quarter of 2000. Net earnings per share were $0.58 versus $1.18 in the fourth quarter of 2000.
Fourth quarter operating income rose 4 percent to $261 million, reflecting a $29 million increase in life operations and corporate income that was partially offset by a $20 million decrease in property-casualty results. The decrease in operating earnings per share was primarily due to common stock offerings in Feb. and Oct. of 2001 that increased the number of shares outstanding. Operating earnings exclude net realized capital gains or losses (after-tax), restructuring charges, extraordinary losses and the cumulative effect of accounting changes.
Net income declined to $144 million in 2001 from $273 million in 2000. The difference from operating income was due to a previously announced $11 million restructuring charge primarily associated with the company’s exit from certain international operations, a previously disclosed $8 million extraordinary loss from the early retirement of $500 million of trust preferred securities and a $98 million net realized capital loss, the largest component of which was a previously disclosed $39 million after-tax write-down of the value of Enron securities.
“The fourth quarter was volatile and The Hartford was very active,” said Ramani Ayer, chairman and CEO. “We dealt quickly with the impact of Sept. 11th and moved swiftly to address terrorist risk in our insurance book. Our life business rode out challenging equity market conditions and produced an increase in operating profits in the face of a very tough comparison to the fourth quarter of 2000. The property-casualty markets evolved swiftly in terms of pricing, regulatory and underwriting conditions. We’ve landed on our feet and moved quickly to position ourselves to benefit in 2002 and 2003.”
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