MetLife Inc. said Thursday it was profitable in the first quarter, reversing a year-ago loss, as the life insurer benefited from premiums and fee growth in both its U.S. and international businesses.
The New York company said its net income totaled $805 million compared to a loss of $574 million a year ago. Net earnings per share rose to 97 cents from a loss of 71 cents last year.
Operating income, which excludes investment gains and losses, grew sixfold to $834 million, or $1.01 per share, versus $131 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.
Total revenue for the most recent quarter was $13.07 billion, an 17 percent increase from the first quarter of 2009.
Results topped Wall Street's expectations for earnings of 97 cents per share and $12.83 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. Analysts typically exclude investment gains and losses from their estimates.
Like most insurers, MetLife emphasizes operating income because it is considered more reflective of the company's performance.
MetLife shares rallied 5.1 percent to $46.13 in after-hours trading, after closing up $1.71, or 3.9 percent, at $45.62.
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