* Q4 operating EPS $0.95 vs est $0.69
* Q4 loss/shr $0.46 vs $1 last year
Feb 28 (Reuters) - Billionaire Wilbur Ross-backed Assured Guaranty Ltd reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss, partially helped by recoveries of breaches of representations and warranties, sending its shares up as much as 8.5 percent in after-market trade.
For the fourth quarter, the bond insurer recorded a net loss of $83.6 million, or 46 cents per share, narrower than a $183.5 million, or $1 per share, loss for the same period last year.
Stripping out unrealized losses related to derivatives and other items, the company posted operating income of 95 cents a share.
Breach of representations takes place when those seeking insurance cover provide false information to the insurer. Warrants are imposed by insurers to ensure that the risk remains the same throughout the policy.
Analysts, on average, had expected it to earn 69 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net earned premiums dropped 21 percent to 224 million, while investment income rose 7 percent to $100.3 million.
Fourth quarter 2011 market penetration was 11.6 percent based on the number of new-issue transactions, compared with 10.3 percent in the prior-year quarter.
Shares of the Bermuda-based bond insurer closed at $17.14 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.