Long term care insurance may be starting to stage a comeback at Genworth Financial Inc.

Genworth, Richmond, Va., is reporting $1.2 billion in net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 on $10.5 billion in revenue, compared with $1.2 billion in net income on $10 billion in pro forma revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Weak investment returns and low policy terminations on older blocks caused LTC insurance profits to fall to $43 million, from $46 million, but increased coverage elections by members of group LTC plans helped boost LTC sales to $46 million, from $41 million.

Although LTC insurance sales growth may be modest this year, market sentiment seems to be shifting in its favor, and a new federal law that will expand the state LTC partnership program could help in 2007, according to analysts at Fox-Pitt, Kelton, New York.

In other earnings news:

- Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, is reporting $474 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 on $7.7 billion in revenue, compared with $620 million in net income on $6.1 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Variable annuity sales and deposits fell to $2.5 billion, from $3.1 billion, but sales of fully insured group life and disability programs increased 70%, to $136 million.

- Ameriprise Financial Inc., Minneapolis, is reporting $111 million in net income for the fourth quarter on $1.9 billion in revenue, compared with $235 million in net income on $1.8 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

The company only recently split from its old corporate parent, American Express Company, New York. Operating earnings, which exclude costs and accounted changes related to the spin-off, amounted to $252 million for the fourth quarter of 2005, compared with $260 million for the fourth quarter of 2004.