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Safeco (SAFC) warned that its third-quarter earnings will be 5 cents to 10 cents a share, well below the 14-analyst First Call/Thomson Financial estimate of 25 cents a share. The company said it was hurt by higher-than-expected commercial and homeowner underwriting losses.

Friday, the company said it hired executive search firm

Russell Reynolds Associates

to conduct the search for a new chief executive. In August, the financial services holding company announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Eigsti planned to retire Dec. 31.

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