UPDATE 2-Cincinnati Financial profit falls, sees tough 2009

jueves 30 de abril de 2009 19:22 CEST

* Q1 oper profit tops estimates

* Sees business closings, shrinking payrolls in 2009

* Lower investment income hurts Q1 profit

* Says has enough liquidity to maintain dividend

* Stock down as much as 6 pct (Adds conference call details, background, share movement)

April 30 (Reuters) - Cincinnati Financial Corp (CINF.O: Cotización) posted a 66 percent fall in first-quarter operating profit, and said there was potential for closing businesses and shrinking payrolls in 2009, sending its shares down as much as 6 percent.

"As predicted, 2009 is proving to be challenging... The economy may continue to create challenges for us as well as for others," Chief Executive Kenneth Stecher said in a conference call.

Stecher, however, said the company had enough liquidity and earnings potential to maintain current dividend levels.

Cincinnati Financial, a U.S. Midwestern property and casualty insurer, currently pays out a quarterly dividend of 39 cents a share.   Continuación...