) reported first-quarter 2014 operating earnings per share (EPS)
of $1.37, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.40 and
the year-ago quarter EPS of $1.47. Operating earnings dipped 4%
year over year to $1.56 billion.
However, including extraordinary items, GAAP net income soared
to $1.3 billion or $1.14 per share from $956 million or 87 cents
per share in the prior-year quarter.
Results reflected growth across the Americas, Asia and EMEA
along with higher investment income, strong expense control and
derivative gains, leading to improved book value per share and
dividend hike. These were partially offset by declined return on
equity (ROE) and higher legal costs.
During the reported quarter, MetLife's total operating
expenses edged up 2.3% year over year to $14.92 billion, while
total expenses decreased 7.2% to $15.26 billion.
Total operating revenue inched up 1% year over year to $17.12
billion but underperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $17.5
billion. However, total revenue declined 3.4% year over year to
$17.09 billion, primarily due to higher investment losses.
MetLife's premiums inched up 1.3% year over year to $9.22
billion, while fee revenue improved 5.1% to $2.32 billion and net
investment income stood flat at $5.09 billion. Other revenues
also rose 2.1% year over year to $491 million.
operating earnings rose 3.9% year over year to $1.34 billion.
Premiums, fees and other revenues climbed 3.8% to $8.91 billion.
Operating revenues grew 3.6% to $13.12 billion.
The segment witnessed core improvements in Corporate Benefit
Funding and Latin America. The Provida acquisition improved
underwriting results in Mexico.
Operating earnings from
dipped 1.5% year over year to $328 million. Premiums, fees and
other revenues grew 6% on a constant currency basis to $2.31
billion, although it dipped 6.1% on a reported basis. Operating
revenues sank 6% to $3.0 billion.
Operating earnings from
rose 1.1% year over year to $88 million. Premiums, fees and other
revenues in this segment increased 5.4% (5% on constant currency
basis) to $722 million. Operating revenues climbed 3.9% to $845
million. Moreover, total sales rose 4%, reflecting 9% growth from
the emerging markets of Gulf, Turkey and Poland.
Corporate & Other
operating loss was recorded at $192 million, wider than the loss
of $86 million incurred in the prior-year quarter due to higher
legal costs and lower investment income. Total revenue stood at
$156 million, plunging 27.8% from the prior-year quarter.
Investment & Financial Update
At the end of the reported quarter, MetLife's net investment
income stood flat year over year at $5.1 billion, while net
investment portfolio gain was $131 million compared with $160
million in the year-ago quarter. In addition, post-tax derivative
gains improved to $78 million from a loss of $591 million in the
year-ago quarter. Decline in interest rate and changes in foreign
exchange led to the gains.
Meanwhile, under the company's variable annuity hedging
program, pre-tax variable investment income was $429 million in
the reported quarter against $337 million in the year-ago
As of Mar 31, 2014, MetLife's book value per share, excluding
AOCI, climbed 4.2% year over year at $49.34. However, reported
book value (including AOCI) per share edged down 0.7% to $56.65.
Operating ROE stood at 10.1% at Mar 2014-end, down from 12.0% at
At the end of Mar 2014, MetLife had total investments of
$493.2 billion, down from $488.8 billion at 2013-end. Total
assets increased to $890.9 billion while long-term debt decreased
to $16.79 billion. Cash and cash equivalents increased to $8.57
billion and total equity increased to $66.3 billion, from
On Apr 22, 2014, the board of MetLife announced a 27% hike in
its regular dividend payout to 35 cents per share from the prior
27.5 cents. The raised dividend will be paid on Jun 13, 2014 to
shareholders of record as on May 9.
On Mar 13, 2014, MetLife had paid a quarterly dividend of 27.5
cents per share to the shareholders of record as on Feb 6.
While MetLife carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), some
Symetra Financial Corp.
Protective Life Corp.
), all bearing a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), appear impressive.
METLIFE INC (MET): Free Stock Analysis Report
PROTECTIVE LIFE (PL): Free Stock Analysis
PRIMERICA INC (PRI): Free Stock Analysis
SYMETRA FINL CP (SYA): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.