MetLife Crushes Earnings, Up 17% in Fourth Quarter

MetLife Inc. announced fourth quarter 2011 operating earnings Wednesday of $1.4 billion, or $1.31 per share, up 17% from the same period in 2010, and beating analysts’ estimates of $1.24 per share. Fourth quarter net income was reported at $1.1 billion, or $1.06 per share, nearly doubling net income from Q4 2010.

The insurance giant also reported full year results including 2011 net income of $6.7 billion, up from $2.7 billion in 2010.

The company cited its strong results, largely attributable to derivatives in the midst of a challenging year, Over the course of the year, MetLife agreed to sell its banking division to GE Capital in December and in January 2011 announced the closing of its forward mortgage origination business. It has said repeatedly it remains committed to its reverse mortgage business.

“MetLife had a solid year and a strong fourth quarter, even in the face of some significant market pressures,” said Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife chairman, president and CEO. “We delivered higher earnings per share over 2010. Our capital position is strong and getting stronger. And our ability to grow operating earnings in the face of low interest rates remains intact. In short, we think we’re the best-positioned company in the life insurance sector to deliver shareholder value.”

In its quarterly earnings statement, MetLife recorded and noted $7.652 million of assets and $7.626 of liabilities related to securitized reverse mortgage loans which have been sold but do not qualify for derecognition.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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