* Q4 oper EPS $1.40 vs est $1.49
* Sees 2009 oper EPS $6.05-$6.25
Feb 4 (Reuters) - Life and health insurer Torchmark Corp (TMK.N) reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as insurance underwriting income fell.
The McKinney, Texas-based company also said it expects 2009 net operating income between $6.05 and $6.25 a share.
Analysts expect the company to earn $6.25 a share for the year, excluding special items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Net operating income in the latest fourth quarter was $118.6 million, compared with $132.2 million for the year-ago quarter.
Insurance underwriting income fell 13 percent to $108.2 million.
Shares of Torchmark closed at $29.08 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Amiteshwar Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)