MetLife, Inc. (MET)

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MetLife (MET)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 05, 2011 8:00 am ET

Executives

William Mullaney - President of the U.S. Business organization

William Moore - President of MetLife Auto & Home and Senior Vice President of Eastern Zone - Individual Business

William Toppeta - President of International and President of International - Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

Steven Kandarian - Chief Executive Officer and President

William Wheeler - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Metropolitan Life and Executive Vice President of Metropolitan Life

John McCallion - Head of Investor Relations and Vice President

Steven Goulart - Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President

C. Henrikson - Chairman, Chairman of Executive Committee, Member of Investment Committee and Director of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

Analysts

Thomas Gallagher - Crédit Suisse AG

John Nadel - Sterne Agee & Leach Inc.

Jamminder Bhullar - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Nigel Dally - Morgan Stanley

Suneet Kamath - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc.

Edward Spehar - BofA Merrill Lynch

Mark Finkelstein - FPK

Colin Devine - Citigroup Inc

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the MetLife First Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. Before we get started, I would like to read the following statement on behalf of MetLife. Except with respect to historical information, statements made in this conference call constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements relating to trends in the company's operations and financial results and the business and the products of the company and its subsidiaries. MetLife's actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, including those described from time to time in MetLife's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. MetLife specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

With that I would like to turn the call over to John McCallion, Head of Investor Relations.

John McCallion

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to MetLife's First Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. We will be discussing certain financial measures not based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, so-called non-GAAP measures. We have reconciled these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in our earnings press release and in our quarterly financial supplements, both of which are available at metlife.com.

A reconciliation of forward-looking financial information to the most directly comparable GAAP measure is not accessible because MetLife believes it is not possible to provide a reliable forecast of net investment and net derivative gains and losses, which can fluctuate from period to period and may have a significant impact on GAAP net income.

Joining me this morning on the call are Rob Henrikson, Chairman of the Board; Steve Kandarian, President and Chief Executive Officer; Bill Toppeta, President of International Business; and Bill Wheeler, Chief Financial Officer. After their prepared remarks, we will take your questions. Also here with us today to participate in the discussion are other members of management, including Bill Mullaney, President of U.S. Business; Bill Moore, President of Auto & Home; and Donna DeMaio, President of MetLife Bank.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Rob.

C. Henrikson

Thank you, John, and good morning, everyone. As you will hear in a moment, MetLife delivered very strong results in the first quarter as we remain committed to the fundamentals of the business. As you know, the Board of Directors has elected Steve Kandarian as President and Chief Executive Officer effective May 1 this week.

Over the coming months, Steve and I will continue to work very closely together ensuring a smooth transition of responsibilities, with Steve dedicating his time to running the business. I have great confidence in his ability to lead MetLife into a new era of global growth and outstanding performance.

I will remain Chairman of the Board through the end of the year and will continue to focus on various functions within the organization. Since the beginning of the year, I have visited our Japan operations in February, China in March and the Middle East offices in April, hearing from the local management teams about their businesses.

It is clear the leadership teams and employees are extremely talented and committed to a successful integration of Alico. I will continue to visit our worldwide locations, gathering input and feedback on the integration process. We are very pleased with the process we've made and the direction we are heading as the leading global life insurance company.

This morning, Bill Toppeta will provide an update on the impacts to MetLife of the recent tragic events in Japan. However, let me just say we are humbled by the humanitarian actions of our own associates in the region and inspired to see the MetLife family come together in Japan and around the world to support each other. It is a true demonstration of one MetLife.

Now Steve will take you through the highlights of the first quarter.

Steven Kandarian

Good morning, everyone. As I begin my new role as MetLife's President and CEO, I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this great company. I had a good fortune of succeeding Rob Henrikson, who's been a great leader and has created a solid growth platform on which we will continue to build. We are operating from a position of strength and have many opportunities to extend our lead in the marketplace. Thank you, Rob.

Now let's get started on our results. The first quarter of 2011 was a very good quarter for MetLife. Our businesses are performing well as we continue our commitment to discipline growth and expense management. We had record top line performance, with premiums, fees and other revenues increasing to $11 billion, up 27% over the prior year and 15% sequentially. Operating earnings grew to $1.4 billion, up 64% over the prior year and 17% sequentially. And our book value per share increased 10% over the prior year, primarily due to strong operating earnings and investment results.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com