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AIG Earnings Beat Wall Street Estimates (Update1)

  • AIG reports first-quarter earnings per share of $1.65.
  • Analysts were expecting EPS of $1.12.
  • AIG's Chartis unit reported operating income of $1 billion in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a $424 million loss a year earlier.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AIG (AIG - Get Report) reported after-tax operating net income of $3.1 billion, or $1.65 a share, as sales of once-toxic subprime assets and a rebound of its property-casualty unit lifted profitability.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for AIG to earn $1.12 per share compared with $1.30 a year earlier.

AIG's insurance unit, Chartis, rebounded during the first quarter and earned $1 billion in operating income versus an operating loss of $424 million a year earlier.

Limited catastrophe losses spared Chartis' earnings, although the unit reported an 8.5% decrease in commercial premiums in what AIG argues was an effort to restructure the business and become more "selective" about the risks it underwrites.

First-quarter earnings also included the sale of several non-core businesses to repay its multibillion U.S. government bailout. In March, AIG sold 1.72 billion shares of its Asia-based AIA Group and used the $5.6 billion in proceeds to pay off Uncle Sam. Later in the month, the Federal Reserve unloaded $1.6 billion in once-toxic subprime AIG assets.

"AIG has again delivered another strong quarter with our core insurance businesses all posting profits," said CEO Robert Benmosche in a statement. "We also continue to make good on our promise to help the U.S. government profit from its investment in AIG."

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