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MetLife Posts Loss on Interest Rate Bet

Thursday, 26 April 2012 04:27 PM

MetLife, the largest life insurer in the United States, posted a net loss for the first quarter on huge derivative losses tied to a rise in interest rates.

But operating results beat expectations on growth in all three of its geographic regions.

MetLife accidentally released preliminary figures last week, so the broad outlines of results were already known.

The company said on Thursday it lost $174 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $701 million or 66 cents per share.

On an operating basis MetLife earned $1.37 per share. Before the accidental release last week, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected earnings of $1.25 per share.

MetLife said it had $1.3 billion in derivative losses in the quarter. The company uses derivatives to hedge changes in interest rates; during the quarter, yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries rose nearly 34 basis points.

Earlier on Thursday, MetLife said it would stop selling reverse mortgages, cutting 500 jobs in the process. The company had been by far the largest in that industry, with a market share this year of about 23 percent.

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, 26 April 2012 04:27 PM
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