* Q4 oper income $31.9 mln vs last yr $19.0 mln
* Cuts 2010 oper shr view to $3.00-$3.20
* Net premiums earned jumps in specialty business
* Sees Q1 oper EPS $0.65-$0.70 vs est $0.82
March 1 - Tower Group Inc's (TWGP.O) fourth-quarter operating income rose 68 percent on higher net premiums, but the property and casualty insurer cut its 2010 earnings view.
The company slashed its operating earnings view for 2010 to a range of $3.00 to $3.20 a share, from $3.50 to $3.70 per share.
Analysts on average were expecting $3.53 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The 2010 view reflects the changes in the loss ratio estimates made in the fourth quarter of 2009 and the effects of the integration of Specialty Underwriters' Alliance, the company said.
The company, which said last June it would buy Specialty Underwriters', earned $31.9 million, or 74 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, compared with $19.0 million, or 81 cents a share, last year.
The number of outstanding shares rose to 42.9 million from 23.5 million a year ago.
Revenue nearly doubled to $271.5 million in the latest fourth quarter.
At its brokerage insurance segment, net premiums earned rose more than 85 percent to $150.3 million, while net premiums earned at its specialty business segment rose to $82.9 million from $6.6 million.
Shares of the company closed at $22.77 Friday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Archana Shankar in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)