Reinsurance Group 3rd-quarter results disappoint

ST. LOUIS -- Reinsurance Group of America Inc.'s net income rose 7 percent in the third quarter, but the company said its operating income declined, mostly because of higher-than-expected claims in the U.S. and Australia.

The company, which provides reinsurance to help life insurance companies reduce their risk, also said it was hurt by a claims liability increase in Australia.

Its stock slid $5.59, or 9.3 percent, to $54.42 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

RGA reported net income of $144.5 million, or $1.95 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That's up from $134.6 million, or $1.81 per share, in the year-ago period.

Earnings from operating income fell to $1.35 per share from $1.87 per share last year.

The company said that the high claims in the U.S. and Australia and the large claim liability increase for its Australian group business reduced its results by about 66 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.84 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue increased 23 percent to $2.45 billion from $1.99 billion. Wall Street forecast $2.3 billion.

Net premiums climbed to $1.91 billion from $1.78 billion.

RGA also declared a quarterly dividend of 24 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Nov. 30 to shareholders of record on Nov. 9.

Thursday's trading volume was more than four times average volume. Over the past year, RGA shares have traded between $48.33 and $60.69.