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MetLife Inc. is optimistic about its earnings for the year despite the $11.5 billion cost of its pending acquisition of Travelers Life & Annuity.[@@]

MetLife, New York, is reporting $987 million in net income for the first quarter on $10 billion in revenue, up from $598 million in net income on $9.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

MetLife seems to be rosier about future earnings because it has managed to finance most of the Travelers Life deal by borrowing money, selling preferred stock and using other relatively inexpensive sources of cash, according to Andrew Kligerman, an analyst at UBS Investment Research, New York.

MetLife is issuing just $1 billion of new common stock, Kligerman notes in a comment on MetLife’s first-quarter earnings.

“The less expensive financing mix is likely a key driver of Met’s more positive 2005 and 2006 [earnings per share] outlook,” Kligerman writes in the comment.

In other earning news:

- Lincoln National Corp., Philadelphia, is reporting $179 million in net income for the first quarter on $1.3 billion in revenue for the first quarter compared with $130 million in net income on $1.3 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

- Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, is reporting $161 million in net income for the first quarter on $1.1 billion in revenue, compared with $120 million in net income on $1 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

- Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., is reporting $766 million in net income on $5.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter, compared with $290 million in net income on $4.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

- Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, is reporting $206 million in net income for the first quarter on $2.1 billion in revenue for the first quarter, compared with $194 million in net income on $2 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

- The Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, is reporting $9.4 million in net income for the first quarter on $613 million in revenue for the first quarter, compared with $17 million in net income on $671 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

- UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., is reporting $152 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $562 million on $2.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

The company says a recently announced multi-state settlement agreement concerning treatment of disability claims may have affected its performance during the latest quarter.

- Universal American Financial Corp., Rye Brook, N.Y., is reporting $16 million in net income on $224 million in revenue for the first quarter, compared with $14 million in net income on $159 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.

The company’s senior health insurance third-party administrator is reporting $3.6 million in net income on $15 million in revenue.

- CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, is reporting $436 million in net income for the first quarter on $4.3 billion in revenue, compared with $68 million in net income on $4.7 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004. Health plan membership fell to 9 million at the end of the quarter, from 10 million a year earlier.

In related news, CIGNA says it will be cutting 1,700 jobs in an effort to streamline its health care operations and other operations.

- Coventry Health Care Inc., Bethesda, Md., is reporting $113 million in net income for the first quarter on $1.6 billion in revenue, compared with $74 million in net income on $1.3 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004. Health plan membership rose to 2.5 million at the end of the quarter, from 2.4 million a year earlier.

- Health Net Inc., Los Angeles, is reporting $21 million in net income for the first quarter on $2.9 billion in revenue, compared with $15 million in net income on $2.9 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004. Civilian health plan membership fell to 3.5 million at the end of the quarter, from 3.8 million a year earlier. Enrollment in a program the company administers for military personnel, dependents and retirees increased to 2.9 million, from 1.5 million.

== Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., reported $110 million in net income for the first quarter on $3.4 billion in revenue, compared with $68 million in net income on $3.3 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2004. Health plan enrollment held steady at about 7 million.

- Ceres Group Inc., Cleveland, is reporting $4.8 million in net income for the first quarter on $116 million in revenue, compared with $6.2 million in net income on $120 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2004.