MetLife Posts Profit on Investment Gains

MetLife said Thursday that easing investment losses helped push its third-quarter results into the black.

The MetLife building in New York City.
Getty Images
The MetLife building in New York City.

The performance nevertheless missed Wall Street expectations and MetLife shares slid more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.

The New York-based life insurer said it earned $286 million, or 32 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That's compared with a loss of $650 million, or 79 cents per share, in the same period last year when the company was slammed by investment losses.

Operating earnings, which do not include one-time investment gains and losses, were 99 cents per share. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of $1.03 per share.

For the quarter, MetLife said total revenue was $12.44 billion, up from $10.24 billion.

That included a net investment loss of $342 million, an improvement from the $732 million loss a year ago. Net derivative losses were $244 million, down from $1.41 billion in losses a year ago.

MetLife uses derivatives to hedge its exposure to risks, such as changes in interest rates and fluctuations in foreign currencies. Movements in those arenas cause gains and losses on derivatives for MetLife.

Revenue from premiums slipped slightly to $6.56 billion from $6.6 billion.

Fees for universal life and investment-type products rose to $1.45 billion from $1.25 billion, while investment income rose to $4.39 billion from $3.92 billion.