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Canadian life insurer Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC - Analyst Report) reported third-quarter 2013 core earnings of $677 million (C$704 million) up 18.3% year over year.
Net income in 3Q13 came to approximately $0.99 billion (C$1.03 billion), compared with a net loss of $ 282.2 million (C$281 million) in the quarter last year.

During the quarter under review, Manulife’s total insurance sales were $582.1 million (C$605 million), up 4% year over year.

Wealth sales for the third quarter were $10.8 billion (C$11.3 billion), up 34% year over year. The increase was due to increase in sales in Asia along with double-digit growth in all other territories.

For wealth products, premiums and deposits of $14.0 billion (C$14.6 billion) increased 27% year over year.

Insurance premiums and deposits were $5.9 billion (C$6.1 billion), reflecting an increase of 9% year over year.

The company strengthened its Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirements ratio to 229%, up 7% over the prior quarter.    

Funds under management reached another all-time record of $579 billion (C$597 billion) as of Sep 30, 2013 up 10% year over year, driven by positive net policy holder flow and favorable investment returns.

Manulife has been performing favorably over the past many quarters. The company is aggressively developing its business in Asia, which remains key to its long-term growth.

Manulife also has a solid market position in the global markets, and has effectively reduced exposure to potential equity markets as well as interest rate risks. It has also revised product focus on less capital intensive lines of business while maintaining adequate regulatory risk-adjusted capitalization.

In addition, Manulife has successfully maintained a significant scale in core business lines and has seen strong growth in its assets under management.

Other companies in the segment, Kemper Corporation (KMPR - Snapshot Report) with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Assurant Inc. (AIZ - Analyst Report) and Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. ,  with Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) all reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings.

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