Slumping Fairfax Financial Holdings (TSE, NYSE: FFH) showed signs of a turnaround in the third quarter 2002, with the largest quarterly profit in the company’s history. After posting a loss of $458.3 million for the quarter ending September 30, 2001, the company came through with net earnings of $281.4 million for the same period this year. This translates to earnings per share of $19.31 versus a per-share loss of $35.23 last year in the third quarter. Insurance and reinsurance operations saw net premiums written increase 32.6% for the first nine months of the year, to $4.86 billion from $3.66 billion at the same point last year. The company also brought its combined ratio down to 103.3% from 120.8% during the same period. In Canada, the combined ratio was 97.4% versus 113% last year. Fairfax also benefited from realized gains of $465.8 million in the quarter. Taken into account must be that third quarter 2001 results were impacted by September 11 losses. Nonetheless, the company looks to be improving overall, with net earnings of $339.7 million for the first nine months of this year, translating to $22.72 per share.