NU Online News Service, Feb. 11, 2004, 12:13 p.m. EST – Protective Life Corp., Birmingham, Ala., more than doubled its fourth-quarter 2003 sales of stable value contracts.[@@]

The life insurer is reporting $67.6 million in net income for the latest quarter on $474.3 million in revenue, up from $30.3 million in net income on $453.9 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002.

A new program that sells notes backed by registered funding agreements helped increase sales of stable value contracts to $909 million, from $391 million.

Stable value profits fell to $10.1 million, from $11.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2002, because the difference between the average rate Protective paid the contract holders and the average rate it earned on the investments backing the contracts narrowed to 0.95 percentage points, from 1.12 percentage points.

But profits from life marketing were strong, with sales through independent agents expanding 28% and sales through stockbrokers expanding 37%, the company says.