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Brighthouse Financial (BHF) Q1 Earnings Lag, Revenues Down Y/Y

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Brighthouse Financial Inc.'s (BHF - Free Report) first-quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $1.98 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.6%. The bottom line dropped 16.1% year over year.

The quarter incurred establishment costs related to planned technology and branding expenses associated with the company's separation from its parent company. Nonetheless, the company delivered robust annuity sales, favorable market conditions, and prudent capital and expense management.

Behind the Headlines

Total revenues of $691 million were down 61.9% year over year.

Premiums of $227 million decreased 0.9% year over year.

Adjusted net investment income was $811 million in the quarter under review, down 1.7% year over year. This downside was attributable to lower alternative investment income, partially offset by growth in average invested assets and the ongoing repositioning of the investment portfolio.  Investment income yield was 4.10%.

Corporate expenses of $225 million pretax decreased 3.7% year over year.

Total expenses decreased 14.7% year over year to $1.6 billion on lower interest credited to policyholder account balances, drop in amortization of DAC and VOBA and lower other expenses.

Brighthouse Financial, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Quarterly Segment Update

Annuities reported adjusted operating income of $295 million, up 30.5% year over year reflecting lower amortization of deferred acquisition costs, lower reserves, and higher net investment income, driven primarily by positive market performance in the quarter, partially offset by lower fees. Annuity sales increased nearly 36% to $1.7 billion.

Life generated adjusted operating income of $25 million, down 62% year over year on higher claims and lower net investment income, partially offset by lower expenses. Life insurance sales were $1 million, down 50% year over year.

Adjusted operating loss of Run-off was $36 million against the year-ago profit of $50 million. The downside was due to lower net investment income and higher claims related to lower reinsurance recoveries.

Adjusted operating loss at Corporate & Other was $52 million, narrower than $59 million loss incurred in the year-ago quarter.  

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $3.9 billion, up about 105% year over year.

Shareholders’ equity of about $15 billion at quarter-end increased 10.4% year over year.

Book value per share, excluding preferred stock and accumulated other comprehensive income, was $111.28 as of Mar 31, 2019, up 3.7% year over year.

Share Buyback Program

Brighthouse Financial bought back shares worth $52 million in the first quarter and another $14 million worth in April.

The board of directors approved a $400 million shares buyback program.

Zacks Rank

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

Performance of Other Life Insurers

Among other players in the life insurance industry that have already reported first-quarter results, Lincoln National Corporation (LNC - Free Report) surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings while Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW - Free Report) and Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated. (RGA - Free Report) missed the same.

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