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MetLife (MET) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Miss

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MetLife, Inc.’s (MET - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of $1.35 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.85%. The bottom line also surged 22% year over year. Earnings gained from a decline in total expenses.

Behind the Headlines

The company generated operating revenues of $15.4 billion, which remained almost unchanged year over year. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7%.

Adjusted premiums, fees & other revenues of $11.02 billion decreased 2% year over year.  Net investment income of $3.46 billion decreased 22%.

MetLife, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Total expenses of $13.2 million were down 11.3% year over year on lower benefits and claims, interest credited to policyholder account balances and interest cost.

Book value per share increased 4% year over year to $44.62 as of Dec 31, 2018.

Quarterly Segment Details

U.S.

Adjusted earnings in this segment increased 38% year over year to $685 million, driven by the U.S. tax reform and volume growth.
Adjusted premiums, fees & other revenues were $5.7 billion, down 5%.

The decline is attributable to lower pension risk transfer transactions in Retirement and Income Solutions.

Asia

Operating earnings of $281 million declined 9% (8% on constant currency basis) year over year as volume growth was more than offset by unfavorable underwriting and weaker capital markets.

Adjusted premiums, fees & other revenues of $2.1 billion inched up 1% at constant currency.

Latin America

Operating earnings were $137 million, up 10% (19% at constant currency) year over year, driven by volume growth, lower expenses and favorable underwriting, partially offset by the negative impact of U.S. tax reform and lower equity markets impacting Chile encaje.

Adjusted premiums, fees & other revenues were $956 million, down 3% on a reported basis, while up 5% at constant currency, driven by volume growth across the region, led by Chile and Mexico.

EMEA

Operating earnings from EMEA decreased 30% (24% on constant currency basis) year over year to $55 million, as volume growth and lower expenses were more than offset by one-time items, unfavorable underwriting and the negative impact of U.S. tax reform.

Adjusted premiums, fees & other revenues were $642 million, down 1% year over year but up 3% at constant currency.

MetLife Holdings

Adjusted operating earnings from MetLife Holdings came in at $223 million, up 15% year over year.

Operating premiums, fees & other revenues were $1.4 billion, down 5% year over year.

Zacks Rank

MetLife has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Among the other players from the insurance industry that have reported fourth-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line of MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) Chubb Limited (CB - Free Report) and The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

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