UPDATE 1-Assurant Q4 oper profit trails Street view

jueves 5 de febrero de 2009 00:14 CET

* Q4 EPS $1.55

* Oper EPS $1.31 vs estimate of $1.53

* CEO says capital position remains stable

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Specialty insurer Assurant Inc (AIZ.N: Cotización) posted fourth-quarter net operating income that trailed market estimates, hurt by a 63 percent fall in profit at its Assurant Solutions segment.

The company reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $182.4 million, or $1.55 a share, compared with $120.8 million, or $1.01 a share, a year earlier.

Net investment income fell 7 percent to $183 million, while net earned premiums rose 2 percent to $2 billion.

Net operating income at Assurant Solutions, which provides consumer-based insurance products, fell to $11.9 million, partly due to charges related to client bankruptcies and the company's decision to exit operations from Denmark.

Assurant Solutions had an association with now bankrupt electronics retailer Circuit City Stores CCTYQ.PK to insure its products.

Shares of New York-based Assurant closed at $26.15 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen 63 percent from its peak in July. (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)