UPDATE 2-American Financial Q2 operating net above estimates

viernes 1 de agosto de 2008 00:22 CEST

(Adds details, background, analyst comments)

By Supantha Mukherjee and Santosh Nadgir

BANGALORE, July 31 (Reuters) - Property and casualty specialty insurance company American Financial Group Inc's (AFG.N: Cotización) quarterly operating profit topped estimates, backed by its annuity and supplemental insurance business.

"They had a good report that keeps the Street happy," Morgan Keegan analyst John Gwynn said.

He said better numbers from the life annuity business and net investment income boosted its results.

Core operating earnings from the annuity and supplemental insurance group rose about 30 percent to $44.7 million. Investment income rose 8 percent to $270.9 million.

Profit at the property and casualty insurance operations fell 34 percent to $75.5 million in the second quarter, due to higher catastrophe losses and lower underwriting profits in several of its specialty insurance operations.

"The company had an unusually large amount of catastrophe losses for the quarter but it has done a pretty good job of keeping its catastrophe exposures down," analyst Gwynn said.

He has an "outperform" rating on the stock.   Continuación...