CNA Financial Corp. lost $84 million in its 2018 fourth quarter, a result the Chicago-based property/casualty insurer blames on poor investment returns and catastrophe losses.

At the same time, CNA Chairman and CEO Dino Robusto said the insurer has made progress.

“While the combination of limited partnership investment returns and catastrophe losses drove a loss in the fourth quarter, we made significant progress in 2018,” Robusto said in prepared remarks. “Both our all-in combined ratio and underlying combined ratio improved for the year, we achieved meaningful premium growth, and we are continuing to get needed rate increases.”

Investors reacted strongly to CNA’s Q4 financial disclosures. They drove the stock down more than 8 percent as of late-morning trading on Feb. 11, to $42.68.

CNA’s Q4 $84 million net loss translated to a loss of $0.31 per diluted share. In the 2017 fourth quarter, the insurer booked $223 million in net income, or $0.82 per diluted share.

The property/casualty combined ratio for Q4 was 105.4 compared to 94 in the same, year-ago period. CNA’s commercial combined ratio hit 113.3 versus 98.2 in the 2017 fourth quarter. Its specialty insurance combined ratio was a Q4 bright spot at 91.2, though it is higher than the 88.6 combined ratio a year ago.

Net investment income for the quarter came in at $127 million, a drop from $305 million in the 2017 fourth quarter.

CNA’s property/casualty net written premiums nearly hit $1.66 billion, a small increase from the $1.6 billion produced in Q4 2017.

Here are other result highlights:

  • CNA’s full-year 2018 P/C combined ratio was 96.7 compared to 97.1 in 2017.
  • The insurer’s full-year P/C net written premiums surpassed $6.8 billion for 2018, up from $6.5 billion in 2017.
  • P/C net investment income for the year reached $996 million, but that’s down from $1.2 billion in 2017.
  • CNA’s net written premium for its international business grew to $256 million in Q4, up from $217 million in the 2017 fourth quarter. They’re at $1 billion for the full year compared to $881 million in 2017.
  • Specialty net written premiums reached $682 million during Q4 compared to $665 million in the 2017 fourth quarter. For the year, premiums surpassed $2.7 billion, essentially flat compared to 2017.

Source: CNA