NU Online News Service, July 29, 2003, 6:07 p.m. EDT – Jefferson-Pilot Corp., Greensboro, N.C., is the latest financial services company to announce that it pulled back from the fixed annuity market during the second quarter.

The company let sales of fixed annuities fall to $132 million during the latest quarter, down from $255 million for the second quarter of 2002.

The drop reflects “Jefferson Pilot’s continuing focus on adequate returns in a challenging pricing environment,” the company says in a discussion of its earnings.

Some companies say they have accepted a smaller difference between the rates they pay holders of fixed annuities and the rates they earn on their own investments. But Jefferson-Pilot says the average spread on its fixed annuities increased to 1.88 percentage points, from 1.82 percentage points during the second quarter of 2002.

The company as a whole is reporting $146 million in net income for the latest quarter on $934 million in revenue, up from $131 million in net income on $878 million in revenue.