Life Partners Inc. says it believes a temporary slump in demand for its life settlements hurt its earnings during the quarter that ended Aug. 31.[@@]

Life Partners, Waco, Texas, is reporting $245,000 in net income for the latest quarter on $2.6 million in revenue, compared with $1.1 million in net income on $2.9 million in revenue for the comparable quarter in 2004.

Life Partners, a company that invests in life insurance policies and sells the policies to other investors, says retail investors’ interest held steady. Institutional investors’ interest started out weak but picked up toward the end of the quarter, the company says.

Early indications suggest that institutional sales should be stronger this quarter and next quarter, Life Partners says.

Life Partners says it spent $620,024 on buying life insurance policies during the latest quarter.