NU Online News Service, Oct. 2, 4:30 p.m. – Lower sales, higher annuity surrenders and charges related to deferred-acquisition costs and guaranteed minimum death benefits will probably hurt some life insurers’ third-quarter earnings, according to a new forecast by Andrew Kligerman, an analyst with Bear Stearns & Company Inc., New York.

Kligerman holds out little hope for immediate improvement in investment-portfolio credit losses, and he is not very optimistic about 2003.

“We have revised our [earnings per share] estimates to reflect not only the continued equity market decline but also the impact of the weak economy and the mortgage refinancing wave, among other factors,” Kligerman writes.

The stock-market slump could cut some life insurers’ 2003 earnings by as much as 5%, Kligerman warns.

If the Financial Accounting Standards Board adopts the fair-value method of expensing stock options, that could cut some life insurers’ 2003 earnings by another 10%, Kligerman estimates.