CHICAGO ( TheStreet) -- Aon's ( AOC) second-quarter profit plunged 86%, but that didn't stop investors from propping up its shares in morning trading Thursday. During the quarter the company earned $149 million, or 52 cents a share, far below the profit of $1.1 billion, or $3.71 a share, Aon posted a year ago. Last year's results included a $1 billion gain from the sale of the company's insurance underwriting units. Excluding items, income reached 76 cents a share in the just-ended period, beating analysts' expectations of 74 cents and coming in above the 70 cents it earned per share a year ago (which strips out proceeds from the sale of the underwriting business). Revenue fell 4% to $1.89 billion, while investment income tumbled 69% to $21 million. Aon said the strength of the U.S. dollar also shaved 3 cents off income. Shares rose 5% to $40.05 in morning trading. On Wednesday, rival Willis ( WSH) reported that its second-quarter earnings more than doubled to $91 million as commission and fee income grew. And earlier this week, insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher ( AJG) also saw its quarterly profit rise 7% due to higher commissions and fees. -Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.