The Hartford (HIG) stalked past second-quarter earnings targets but trimmed full-year guidance.

The insurer made $476 million, or $1.52 a share, for the second quarter ended June 30, down from the year-ago $602 million, or $1.98 a share. Core earnings, excluding investment gains, fell to $1.83 a share from $1.99 a share a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $1.70 a share for the latest quarter.

"The underlying performance of the company was very strong this quarter," said Ramani Ayer, chairman and chief executive officer of The Hartford. "The scale, flexibility and execution discipline of our company are tremendous assets as we face a more challenging competitive and economic environment. With expanded distribution and a broad product offering, we are delivering good growth in the most attractive segments of the property and casualty and life markets."

The Hartford reported core earnings for the first six months of 2006 of $1.4 billion, or $4.40 per diluted share. Based on current information, The Hartford expects 2006 core earnings per diluted share to be between $8.50 and $8.80. The company's previous guidance range was $8.80 to $9.10 per diluted share.

Shares fell $1.54 late Thursday to $82.46.

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