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CNA profit surges in second quarter


(Reuters) — Insurer CNA Financial Corp. said net income rose to $267 million in the second quarter of 2014 from $194 million a year earlier.

Parent company, conglomerate Loews Corp., reported a 57% drop in quarterly profit due to lower earnings from Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., one of the world’s top five offshore rig contractors.

Net income attributable to Loews fell to $116 million in the second quarter ended June 30 from $269 million a year earlier.

Loews, controlled by New York’s wealthy Tisch family, said revenue fell to $3.59 billion from $3.62 billion.

Over the years, Loews has trimmed CNA’s operations — which previously included life insurance, personal automobile insurance, health insurance and reinsurance businesses — with the latest major sale announced in February.

Loews is also considering the sale of its wholly owned natural gas subsidiary HighMount Exploration & Production L.L.C. because of sustained low natural gas prices and a grim price outlook for the fuel caused by a shale boom.

Up to Friday’s close of $42.25, Loews’ shares have lost about 5% since April, when the company last reported results. CNA’s shares lost about 7% in the same period and closed at $38.06 on Friday.