American International Group Inc.said first-quarter earnings were 20 percent higher than a year ago, which was a stronger performance than analysts had expected.
The New York-based insurer, which is under investigation by state and federal regulators over accounting issues, had delayed issuing its report for the January to March period because of an internal review that resulted in a restatement of financial results for the past five years. The revised figures, including restated 2004 results, were released May 31.
In its report on the first quarter, AIG said net income totaled $3.19 billion , or $1.21 a share, up from restated profits of $2.66 billion or $1.01 a share, in the first quarter of 2004.
The latest results were above the $1.18 projected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
AIG said shareholder equity totaled $82.68 billion at the end of the first quarter, up from $80.61 billion at year’s end.
Martin J. Sullivan, AIG’s president and chief executive officer, termed it a good quarter, “with all four of our business segments contributing to the growth in net income.”
The company’s operating divisions are general insurance, life insurance and retirement services, financial services and asset management.
In the restatement of its earnings in May, AIG acknowledged accounting improprieties, some apparently intended to deceive regulators.
Last month, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a civil suit that accused AIG along with former Chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg of using “deception and fraud” to boost the company’s stock price.
Greenberg’s legal team also said that Greenberg’s wife has transferred more than $2 billion worth of company stock back to a joint account with her husband, three months after he gave her the shares as a gift.
Greenberg’s shift of 41.4 million shares to his wife prompted Ohio regulators to file a complaint that the gift was a “fraudulent conveyance” to shield assets. It also had become an issue in shareholder lawsuits.
Late Monday, AIG filed its delayed annual proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission and set the date of its annual meeting for Aug. 11.
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