Hartford Financial Services ( HIG)swung to a loss in the first quarter, sending shares tumbling in after-hours trading.

For the three-month period, the company posted a loss of $1.21 billion, or $3.77 a share, from a profit of $145 million, or 46 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected the company to lose $3.05 a share.

"The environment was challenging in the first quarter of 2009 and was reflected in both our life and property and casualty results," Ramani Ayer, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company said it will suspend all new variable annuity business in Japan and the United Kingdom, and canceled plans to start selling variable annuities in Germany.

Shares fell as much as 13% in after-hours trading.