UPDATE 2-Chubb beats estimates despite catastrophe costs

* Oper EPS of $1.69, Wall St. estimate $1.44

* Raises outlook on lower catastrophe estimate

* Shares rise after-hours after touching 25-month high
(Adds shares, conference call)

NEW YORK, Oct 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Property insurer Chubb Corp
(CB.N: ) easily beat Wall Street expectations for the third
quarter despite higher catastrophe costs and raised its outlook
for 2010 on a lower full-year catastrophe estimate.

Chubb’s income fell year-over-year in most segments but
per-share results were boosted by a 10 percent decline in the
company’s share count.

Chubb said net income fell to $572 million from $596
million a year earlier. Earnings per share rose to $1.80 from
$1.69 last year.

Operating earnings, which exclude realized investment gains
and losses, were $1.69 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S on average expected earnings of $1.44 per
share.

Chubb’s report came a few hours after Travelers (TRV.N: ),
the largest publicly traded U.S. property insurer, easily beat
third-quarter expectations on lower catastrophe losses and
large share buybacks. [ID:nN21266849]

Catastrophe costs at Chubb were $58 million pretax compared
with $22 million a year earlier. That cut operating earnings by
12 cents per share, compared with 4 cents in the same period
last year. A Chubb spokesman described this year’s losses as
low historically but said last year’s were abnormally low.

Chubb raised its full-year operating earnings forecast to a
range of $5.75 to $5.85 per share from a previous range of
$5.15 to $5.55 per share, citing a reduced catastrophe impact
estimate for the year.

Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast full-year EPS
excluding one-off items of $5.47.

The Warren, New Jersey-based insurer now expects a
catastrophe impact of 5.8 points, down from 7 points
previously.

Shares rose 9 cents in after-hours trading to $58.45 from a
$58.36 close on the New York Stock Exchange. During the trading
day the stock touched its highest level since Sept. 2008.

Separately, Chubb reshuffled its executives in advance of
Chief Operating Officer John Degnan’s Dec. 31 retirement, and
said Degnan, a former attorney general of New Jersey, had
agreed to a two-year consulting role with the company.
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; editing by Carol Bishopric,
Bernard Orr)

UPDATE 2-Chubb beats estimates despite catastrophe costs