HCC exits equity investments, including hedge funds and alternative investments, and reinvests in fixed income

HCC Insurance Holdings Inc, the Houston-based company, reported posted a 40 percent fall in quarterly profit hurt by losses due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, primarily from offshore energy exposures, and investment losses, and cut its 2008 earnings outlook.

"There may be some further increase in the gross losses for the two hurricanes, but HCC's net loss is not expected to increase," Chief Executive Frank Bramanti said in a statement.

Third-quarter results were hurt by net losses of $24.5 million from hurricanes, realized investment losses of $17.2 million and $14.3 million in losses from alternative investments, Bramanti said.

HCC earned $59.1 million for the quarter, down from $97.9 million it recorded a year ago.

Net premium earned rose 2.5 percent to $505 million.

HCC will exit equity and equity-related investments, including hedge funds and alternative investments, and reinvest those funds in fixed income securities to eliminate the volatility in its investment income, Bramanti said.