Friday, May 01, 2009


Hartford Has Third Straight Loss as Equities Slump

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., the Connecticut-based insurer, had its third straight quarterly loss and slashed its 2009 forecast as the stock-market slump raises the cost of protecting customers from declines in retirement accounts. The shares fell as much as 15 percent.

The first-quarter net loss was $1.21 billion, or $3.77 a share, compared with profit of $145 million, or 46 cents, in the year-earlier period, the company said today in a statement. As part of a restructuring plan, the insurer said it is scaling back operations outside the U.S.

Hartford’s earnings shrank, then disappeared amid the six- quarter drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index as the company shouldered declines for savers with equity-linked variable annuities. That depleted capital at the life-insurance division, and Chief Executive Officer Ramani Ayer, who also oversees a profitable property-casualty unit, is under pressure to stanch the losses or break up the 199-year-old insurer...

Bloomberg: Hartford Has Third Straight Loss as Equities Slump

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