By Cyril Tuohy
Symetra Financial this week reported third-quarter net income of $36 million, a 21 percent decline compared to the year-ago period.
Earnings were 31 cents per diluted share, the company reported.
The company also reported adjusted operating income of $45.5 million, or 39 cents a share, well short of analysts’ estimates of 44 cents a share.
Analyst John Nadel of Stern Agee & Leach told Bloomberg: “We continue to struggle with the quality of earnings and slow pace of ROE improvement” at Symetra.
While low interest rates presented challenges to the company in this latest quarter, Symetra remained focused on expanding its bank and broker/dealer network to sell benefits, retirement and individual life products, Tom Marra, president and chief executive officer of Symetra Financial, said in a news release.
Aflac reported third-quarter net income of $706 million, an increase of 0.5 percent over the year-ago period.
Earnings were $1.56 per diluted share, the company reported.
Aflac also reported operating income of $685 million, or $1.51 per diluted share, beating by 8 cents the estimates of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
Aflac chairman and CEO Daniel P. Amos said in a news release that changes to the distribution of the company's products in the United States didn’t cause as much short-term disruption as might have been expected and that a flat sales quarter was, in fact, a sign of an “improved trajectory of U.S. sales.”
Ameriprise Financial reported third-quarter net income of $420 million, an increase of 10 percent compared with the year-ago period. The company also reported earnings per diluted share of $2.17. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had estimated earnings of $1.95 per share.
“Ameriprise delivered another strong quarter, continuing the trend we set in the first half of the year,” the company's chairman and CEO, Jim Cracchiolo, said in a news release. “Our fee-based businesses drove our growth, led by Advice & Wealth Management.”
Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods had forecast year-over-year earnings-per-share growth at 5 percent, with a 2 percent drop in earnings per share over the second quarter among the 11 life and annuity carriers it covers.
As many life carriers took balance sheet charges in 2012 to account for low interest rates, KBW analyst Ryan Krueger said in a note to investors that he didn’t expect any major interest rate-related balance sheet adjustments in the third quarter.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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