NU Online News Service, Nov. 4, 2003, 4:05 p.m. EST – The Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, says job cuts and improved investment results helped it swing into the black in the third quarter.

The financial services company is reporting $14 million in net income for the latest quarter on $682 million in revenue, up from a net loss of $93 million on $655 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2002.

Premium revenue fell 3%, to $287 million. But gains in stock prices and investment spreads helped push investment income up 11%, to $254 million, and reduce losses on investments sold, written down or written off during the quarter to $2.6 million. Phoenix reported $10.5 million in realized investment losses for the third quarter of 2002.

Operating expenses fell 4.4%, to $130 million, and Phoenix notes that it has reduced the size of its workforce by about 6%.

Life insurance sales increased to $123 million, from $102 million, because of strong sales of variable universal life insurance through private placement arrangements and strong sales of universal life insurance through wholesalers.

Phoenix ended sales of deferred fixed annuities, which accounted for only a small percentage of its annuity production, in October. Sales of variable annuities dropped more than 40%, to $425 million, and Phoenix says it has begun focusing on marketing annuities through “selected distribution relationships.”