MetLife has disposed of its remaining stake in Brighthouse Financial for a loss of $212 million in connection with the sale, the company said.
Brighthouse was spun off as a separate company last year as part of MetLife’s long-term strategy to become a leaner, less complex insurer focused on segments with a higher potential for growth -- such as employee benefits.
Adjusted earnings for the company’s Group Benefits business rose 29 percent to $261 million from the year-ago period, the company reported.
MetLife’s Retirement and Income Solutions reported adjusted earnings of $347 million, an increase of 32 percent over the year-ago period.
Group Benefits ran $33 million above expectations due to good underwriting results in the group non-medical line, Morgan Stanley analyst Nigel Dally wrote in a client update.
Earnings in MetLife's Retirement segment ran $27 million ahead of expectations to better-than-expected claims experience, Dally wrote.
Targeting higher-growth business segments, coupled with tax reform, repatriated profits from foreign operations and regulatory relief, helped MetLife deliver second-quarter net income of $845 million, compared to $865 million in the year-ago period.
On a per-share basis, net income was 83 cents, the company reported. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.30 per share.
The results surpassed expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.17 per share.
MetLife also posted revenue of $21.19 billion in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $21.22 billion.
Remediation Plans On Track
MetLife completed its “root cause” analysis of its failure to track down 13,500 group annuitants who were due benefits but never received them, Chief Financial Officer John McCallion said.
“We believe the steps we are taking will further strengthen our internal control over financial reporting,” he said. ”While an observation period is required, we continue to work toward clearing the material weaknesses during 2018.”
Discovery of the unpaid benefits led MetLife to take a fourth-quarter pre-tax charge of $510 million related to group annuity business going back many years.
The company did not break out expenses associated with the remediation plan.
Light At The End Of The Deal Tunnel?
Long-term care insurer Genworth Financial is targeting a fourth quarter close for its transaction with the China-based global investment firm China Oceanwide, according to Tom J. McInerney, president and CEO of Genworth.
Genworth expects to extend beyond the Aug. 15 deadline the period under which the deal could be terminated, McInerney said in a conference call with analysts.
When the Genworth-China Oceanwide deal was announced in Oct. 2016, the companies had expected to close the deal in mid-2017.
Closing the deal has been delayed as state and federal regulators seek more information about the deal, which is considered a key piece of Genworth’s long-term revival.
Genworth took a big step forward in June when the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) ruled that that there were no security concerns after Genworth agreed to hire an outside firm to manage personal data.
As part of the new capital plan, Genworth would receive $1.5 billion from the China-based holding company to be used to improve Genworth’s stability and possibly retire debt obligations due in 2020 and 2021.
Company Surpasses Expectations
Genworth, a leader in the LTCi market, ran into trouble several years ago after it was faced with huge long-term care liabilities.
The financial straits came about because the Richmond, Va., insurer, like many other companies with long-term care exposures, had underpriced so many of its LTCi contracts.
In response, Genworth raised premiums on in-force policies, which boosted operating income, and found a partner willing to help with a major capital infusion.
China Oceanwide sees the Genworth deal as a way into the mature U.S. market, one in which demand for long-term care coverage is expected to grow as baby boomers age.
Genworth reported second-quarter profit of $190 million compared with $202 million in the year-ago period.
The company reported adjusted operating income per share of 40 cents, beating analysts’ estimates by 14 cents. The company also reported revenue of $2.16 billion, which beat analysts’ estimates by $20 million.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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