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Everest Re Reports Loss

Its cites the hurricanes.

Everest Re

(RE) - Get Everest Re Group, Ltd. Report

, a Bermuda-based reinsurance company, slipped into the red in the fourth quarter, hit by losses from hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

The company lost $162.2 million, or $2.63 a share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $93.3 million, or $1.64 a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to post a loss of $2.61 a share in the most recent quarter.

The after-tax operating loss, which excludes capital gains and losses, declined to $185.8 million, or $3.01 a share.

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Fourth quarter revenue declined 21.6% from a year ago to $1.07 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.31 billion.

Everest reported an estimated loss of $422 million from the hurricanes during the latest period.

Gross written premiums for the fourth quarter were $871 million, a 26% drop from the previous year.

"We are disappointed by the extreme nature of the events that led to the significant loss for the year but point to the fact that our business fundamentals remain strong," the company said. "Our business strategy, while not without risk, remains targeted at providing superior shareholder returns over the long term."

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