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CEO Martin Sullivan said the mortgage guaranty business suffered a loss “resulting from the continued deterioration in the U.S. housing market.” Investors have been anticipating as much, driving down the stock from $72.97 in May to $57.90 after the announcement. There was a brief period of optimism earlier this week when it looked like ex-chief Hank Greenberg might be able to force a break-up or even a takeover. But that looks unlikely, though some are starting to share Greenberg’s sentiment that not enough has been done to grow the company since Sullivan took over.
AIG remains a powerhouse in the financial services industry and its diversity has helped minimize damage from the housing fallout. But I wonder if the investor unrest of recent months might prompt Sullivan to get out there more. The company has a distinctly lower profile than it did under Greenberg and Sullivan himself remains an enigma. What better time to address a jittery market and share his vision for where AIG is going to go?
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