Loews Corp reported its best quarter of the year as strong investment income from its biggest holding, CNA Financial , helped the conglomerate post a better-than-expected 16 percent increase in quarterly profit.

New York-based Loews, run by the billionaire Tisch family, said net investment income rose 20 percent to $711 million for the fourth quarter.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $466 million, or $1.12 per share, compared with net income of $403 million, or $0.94 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The hotels, energy and financial services conglomerate earned $1.17 a share, excluding items, compared with analysts' expectations of 88 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Commercial insurer CNA Financial , also reported better-than-expected results, helped by strong investment income from its property and casualty operations.

Apart from CNA, Loews has stakes in Diamond Offshore and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP .

CNA Financial resumed its quarterly dividend and said it will pay 10 cents as quarterly dividend on March 2, to shareholders of record on February 16.

Chicago-based CNA Financial's net operating income was $326 million, or $1.21 a share, compared with $197 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

According to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the company earned $1.06 versus Wall Street view of 69 cents a share.

Apart from property and casualty insurance, CNA also offers risk management, information services, underwriting, risk control and claims administration.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel, Prem Udayabhanu)