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posted fourth-quarter operating income that rose 3% from a year ago, but the result still missed analysts' expectations for the period.

The Warren, N.J., business insurer said operating income rose to $165.9 million, or 93 cents a share, from $160.6 million, or 91 cents a share, in the same period last year. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

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, analysts expected fourth-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share.

Shares of Chubb lost $1, or 1.3%, to $74.07 in recent

New York Stock Exchange


For the fourth quarter, net property and casualty premiums written increased 14.5% to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago. The company also said its personal and specialty commercial lines performed "outstandingly well" during the quarter, but standard commercial lines reported an underwriting loss.

"Rate increases continued to accelerate, and year-end analyses revealed that our initiative to shed the worst-performing accounts has resulted in a dramatic increase in the quality of the book," Chubb said.