May 12, 2009 / 4:22 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-Power Financial profit drops in first quarter

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

* Power Financial shares drop 0.9 percent in Toronto (Adds details, updates share price)

By Andrea Hopkins

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.

Shares of Power Financial were down 0.9 percent at C$24.80 in midday trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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.

Power Financial said Great-West’s contribution to its operating earnings was C$224 million in the first quarter, compared with $377 million for the corresponding period of 2008.

IGM contributed C$68 million to Power Financial’s operating earnings, compared with C$119 million a year earlier.

The company also lost money on its 50 percent ownership of Parjointco NV, which controls Swiss company Pargesa Holding SA (PARG.S). Power Financial said the Parjointco investment cut its operating earnings by C$20 million in the first quarter, compared with a positive contribution of C$17 million for the corresponding period in 2008.

$1=$1.17 Canadian Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Peter Galloway

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