NU Online News Service, Feb. 10, 2004, 6:07 p.m. EST – Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., and MetLife Inc., New York, are reporting big increases in profits for the fourth quarter of 2003.[@@]

Prudential is reporting $496 million in net income for the latest quarter on $4.5 billion in revenue, up from a net loss of $58 million on $4.6 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002.

The former mutual insurer, which has been a stock company for only a few quarters, says sales of group life insurance and individual universal life insurance were particularly strong.

Prudential attracted $256 million more in annuity business than it lost, compared with a net outflow of $105 million for the comparable quarter in 2002.

MetLife, another insurer that has been public for only a few quarters, is reporting $701 million in net income for the latest quarter on $9.7 billion in revenue, up from $561 million in net income on $8.8 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002.

MetLife says its retirement and individual life insurance and annuity operations benefited from the rebound in the stock market and an increase in the spread between the rates MetLife pays customers and the rates the company earns on its own investments.