Loews, run by the billionaire Tisch family, posted investment gains of $1 million in the second quarter. A year earlier, Loews lost $178 million on investments.
The second-quarter investment gain was driven by Loews' largest holding, the commercial insurer CNA Financial
CNA earned $283 million, or 96 cents a share, more than double the profit of $105 million, or 27 cents a share, it reported a year ago. The No.7 U.S. commercial insurer which is 90 percent owned by Loews earned 5 cents a share on its investments, versus a loss of 74 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.
That reversal in CNA's investment portfolio helped Loews' second-quarter profit to shareholders climb to $366 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with $340 million, or 78 cents a share, a year earlier. Loews' profit beat analysts' forecast of 75 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Chicago-based CNA also beat analysts' expectations, reporting profit on an operating basis of 91 cents a share, while analysts expected 60 cents a share.
Apart from property and casualty insurance, CNA also offers risk management, information services, underwriting, risk control and claims administration.
Shares of Loews climbed almost 2 percent to $37.76 while CNA shares jumped 3.6 percent to $29.07 in morning trading.
Profit before investment gains or losses fell for both CNA and its parent.
New York-based Loews' reported a profit before investments of $365 million in the second quarter, down from $518 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Loews attributed this to a drop in profit from Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc
Last month, Diamond Offshore Drilling reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and slashed its special dividend as it faces restricted activity in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Plc
Loews also owns HighMount Exploration & Production and Loews Hotels, as well as the majority of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP
Separately, Loews said it expects to recognize an after-tax loss of about $375 million related to a recent agreement by CNA with National Indemnity Co.
National Indemnity Co, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
Loews also said it bought back 1.5 million shares for $56 million in the first quarter.
(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore and Elinor Comlay in New York; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu, Dave Zimmerman)