MetLife profit falls 33% as market turmoil hits investment income

Feb 1 (Reuters) – MetLife Inc (MET.N) reported a 33% drop in fourth-quarter adjusted profit on Wednesday as a global market rout hurt the US insurer’s investment returns.

Lower private equity returns sent MetLife’s net investment income down 15% to $4.5 billion in the final quarter of a year that saw rising interest rates and growing recession risks pummel global markets across asset classes.

Shares of the insurer fell 2% in extended trading following the results.

Adjusted premiums, fees and other revenues – excluding pension risk transfers (PRT) – decreased 1% to $11.4 billion.

Still, improving underwriting trends in the United States, Europe and Latin America, alongside lower COVID-19 life insurance claims, partially offset the hit to its investment income.

US adjusted earnings climbed 20% in the quarter, while Latin America and EMEA jumped 45% and 67%, respectively, on a reported basis.

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The company posted adjusted profit of $1.2 billion, or $1.55 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $1.8 billion, or $2.17 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected $1.65 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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