May 12, 2009 / 3:32 PM / in 9 years

CORRECTED - UPDATE 1-Power Financial profit drops in first quarter

(Corrects year-earlier earnings per share in second paragraph to 80 Canadian cents from 8 Canadian cents)

* Q1 profit drops to C$0.24/share vs year-earlier C$0.80

* Power Financial shares drop 0.4 percent in Toronto

TORONTO, May 12 (Reuters) - Power Financial Corp PWF.TO, which controls several insurance and mutual fund companies, said on Tuesday its quarterly profit dropped as its subsidiaries suffered from stock losses and credit charges.

Power Financial, a unit of Power Corp of Canada POW.TO, said it had net earnings, including special items, of C$195 million ($167 million), or 24 Canadian cents a share, for the three months ended March 31. That is down from a profit of C$586 million, or 80 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

The company said it took charges of C$57 million, or 8 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with gains of C$95 million in the same period in 2008.

Power Financial said it had operating earnings of C$252 million, or 32 Canadian cents a share, down from C$491 million, or 67 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Analysts had expected earnings of 41 Canadian cents a share before one-time items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Montreal-based Power Financial controls Great-West Lifeco GWO.TO, Canada’s second-largest life insurance company, and IGM Financial IGM.TO, the country’s largest nonbank mutual fund manager.

Some analysts had lowered earnings estimates for Power Financial after Great-West last week reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings due to higher credit charges.

Shares of Power Financial were down 11 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, at C$24.92 in late morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.16 Canadian Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Peter Galloway

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