Prudential Financial profit rises as life insurance offsets annuities weakness

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Nov 7 (Reuters) - Prudential Financial Inc on Wednesday reported a 2.3 percent rise in quarterly profit from the year-ago period as profits in its life insurance units offset weaker results in its annuities business.

Prudential, the largest U.S. insurer by assets, said it earned $1.35 billion, or $3.15 per share, in adjusted operating profit after-tax for the third quarter, up from $1.32 billion or $3.01 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected $3.16 per share, according to according to Refinitiv data. It was not immediately apparent if the figures were comparable.

Prudential said adjusted operating income at its individual annuities unit fell 21.3 percent to $454 million partly because of higher costs for hedging against risk and higher distribution costs.

An annuity is an insurance contract that allows consumers to save tax-deferred for retirement and generate steady income. Annuities contributed, on average, 25 percent of Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential's overall adjusted operating income during the past 12 months.

Adjusted operating income for PGIM, Prudential's asset management arm, declined 11.2 percent to $230 million from $259 million a year earlier, partly because of higher expenses, the company said.

PGIM managed $1.175 trillion in assets as of September 30, up 4 percent from the year ago quarter.

Prudential's U.S. individual life insurance unit reported a 13 percent increase in adjusted operating income, to $170 million, the company said.

The company's Life Planner unit, which distributes life insurance and retirement products to customers in Japan, Korea and other countries reported a 20.4 percent increase in adjusted operating income to $449 million.

Prudential Financial's stock fell 2.67 percent to $98.00 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. (Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)