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PartnerRe Falls as Thailand Floods, Japan Quake Erase Profit

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- PartnerRe Ltd. declined the most since November after it said natural disasters including flooding in Thailand wiped out fourth-quarter profit for the reinsurer.

PartnerRe fell 2.6 percent to $63.29 at 4:03 p.m. in New York. The Bermuda-based company has dropped about 22 percent in the past year.

The fourth-quarter pretax operating loss was probably $110 million to $130 million, the company said in a statement late yesterday. Costs include about $120 million from the Thailand floods. The company said in December that it would take an $88 million fourth-quarter charge tied to the earthquake in Japan after a fresh review of the disaster, which occurred in March.

“A series of complex catastrophe losses has proved challenging to a management that had long been noted for reliable loss estimates and good earnings visibility,” said Mark Dwelle, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, in a note to investors today. “Investors should focus on stories with better near-term clarity.”

Dwelle lowered his rating on the stock to “sector perform” from “outperform.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Ludtke in New York at aludtke@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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