HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. on Monday reported a $46 million net loss for the fourth quarter, primarily due to losses from Superstorm Sandy in its property insurance operations.

The financial services company also announced plans to reduce debt by $1 billion, and its board authorized a $500 million stock repurchase program.

Hartford Financial's loss in the October-December period amounted to 13 cents per share, compared with net income of $118 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Catastrophe losses totaled $335 million before taxes, almost entirely due to Superstorm Sandy, which hit the East Coast in late October.

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