Sluggish operating results could translate into soft stock prices for U.S. life insurers.[@@]
Suneet Kamath, a life analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company L.L.C., New York, gives that assessment in a review of the life sector.
Kamath acknowledges that life company net income is up, and that rising net income has helped push life company stock prices up 15%.
“One could conclude that 2005 is shaping up to be a blow-out year for U.S. life insurers,” Kamath writes.
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In the past, some life companies classified factors that hurt earnings as “unusual items,” to imply that operating earnings were stronger than net income.
This year, Kamath writes, life companies are improving their net results by adding many positive unusual items to operating earnings.