MetLife Profit Declines but Matches Forecasts with Reuters

Metlifeturned in quarterly earnings that declined slightly from last year but matched Wall Street's expectations.

MetLife, the largest insurer in the United States, said it earned 87 cents a share, excluding one-time items, matching the consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters. In the same period last year, MetLife earned 88 cents a share.

Sales for the most recent quarter reached $12.4 billion, edging analysts' forecasts of $12.249 billion but declining from last year's sales of $13.38 billion.


Including investment losses, MetLife posted a loss of 79 cents a share. Some of the investment losses were tied to improvement in the company's own credit spreads.

The net loss included $1.4 billion in after-tax net realized investment losses, including about $582 million in derivatives losses tied to improvement in the company's own credit spreads.

Under accounting rules, when its own credit spreads improve, MetLife has to record a decline in the value of its insurance liabilities. This also led to a loss in the second quarter.

"Our businesses are performing well as evidenced by increased sales in a number of product areas in both the U.S. and internationally," said Chief Executive Robert Henrikson, in the earnings report.

U.S. annuity deposits were $4 billion in the quarter, including a 19 percent increase in fixed annuity deposits. MetLife also recorded increased premiums, fees and other revenue in its group life and nonmedical health divisions.

Overall, MetLife's quarterly premiums, fees and other revenue were flat at $8.5 billion.

Book value, a key valuation measure for investors, rose 27 percent from the end of June to $38.95 a share.

The results failed to add to the 7.64 percent leap made by MetLife shares during the regular New York Stock Exchange session. The stock was down more than 2 percent in extended trade. Get late quotes for MetLife here.

The stock has more than tripled since its 52-week low of $11.37 in March when investor fears that life insurers could run short of capital reached a fever pitch.