Bloomberg News

Platinum Underwriters Has Steepest Slide Since December 2008

October 12, 2011

(Updates with share decline starting in first paragraph.)

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd. fell the most since December 2008 after the reinsurer said it underestimated the costs of second-quarter catastrophes.

Platinum dropped $3.03, or 9.6 percent, $28.74 in New York Stock Exchange trading. The stock has slumped 36 percent this year, compared with the 13 percent fall of the Russell 2000 Financial Services Index.

Third-quarter earnings will be reduced by $112.4 million including claims from Hurricane Irene in August and additional costs from the earthquakes that stuck Japan and New Zealand in the first half of the year, the company said late yesterday in a statement. The New Zealand temblors in February and June are responsible for about $54 million of the total, the Bermuda- based reinsurer said.

“We view the magnitude of the losses as disappointing,” said analysts led by Dean Evans at KBW Inc. Evans lowered his 12-month price target on the stock to $36 from $39.

--Editors: Dan Kraut, William Ahearn

To contact the reporter on this story: Maryellen Tighe in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at

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