The family behind holding company Loews Corporation would prefer to buy back shares of the family business rather than pursue acquisitions, in the wake of falling revenues and profits at the American group.
That’s according to family member James Tisch, chief executive and president of Loews, whose operations span property, insurance, hotels, oil and gas.
“There really aren’t a lot of properties or assets that are for sale at prices that I think would be attractive for Loews shareholders,” he said during a conference call on 6 February.
He added that one of the family-controlled business’s basic principles was to “create long-term value”, which would be possible by “buying back Loews’ common stock”.
Tisch’s comments follow the New York-based company’s announcement that net income for the fourth quarter of 2011 fell by around 40% to $268 million (€204.2 million) from $466 million in the 2010 fourth quarter.
Full-year profits also took a hit, dropping to $1.06 billion from $1.3 billion in 2010.
Much of the fall was due to poor performance of the group’s insurance division, which saw its net income decline by around 35%. But Tisch remained positive about the company’s overall development.
“Our subsidiaries made great progress in meeting the strategic imperative they set to make their business and operations stronger and better able to compete in any economic climate,” he added in the call.
The company, which bought back 18.2 million shares of Loews in 2011, also saw sales fall to $14.12 billion, from $14.61 billion the previous year.
The Tisch family controls around 32% of the business, which ranked 18th on CampdenFB’s list of the top 100 family businesses in North America last year.
A number of family members also sit on the company board alongside James – Andrew and Jonathan Tisch are co-chairmen.