Reinsurance Group of America Inc. did well during the fourth quarter of 2005 even though federal government survey data showed that mortality was higher than usual.

RGA, St. Louis, a life reinsurer, is reporting $68 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.2 billion in revenue, up from $55 million in net income on $1.1 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

At least one securities analyst had wondered whether an apparent 7% increase in the total number of U.S. deaths between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2005 could lead to a spike in claims at RGA. But, in the real world, “mortality experience for the quarter was within our range of expectations,” RGA President A. Greig Woodring says in a statement accompanying RGA’s latest earnings release.

U.S. government mortality data may not correlate well with life claims, because the government does not say how many of the people who died had life insurance, and it does not normally provide international mortality statistics, according to a research note from John Nadel, an analyst at Fox-Pitt, Kelton, New York.

About 36% of RGA’s fourth-quarter earnings came from arrangements with clients outside the United States, Nadel writes.

In other earnings news:

- UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., is reporting $138 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 on $2.7 billion in revenue, up from $134 million in net income on $2.7 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Net income rose slowly partly because income taxes increased to $56 million, from $8.3 million.

UnumProvident has emphasized its commitment to walking away from unprofitable accounts in recent quarters, and it says group long-term disability insurance sales fell 15%, to $68 million. But group short-term disability sales increased 14%, to $33 million.

For both group LTD and group STD, “sales in the core small and mid-sized markets improved significantly relative to the year-ago quarter while sales in the large-case market declined,” UnumProvident says.

- Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga., is reporting $364 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 on $3.6 billion in revenue, compared with $410 million in net income on $3.4 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Aflac notes that release of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance added $128 million to earnings for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Aflac recruited 5,200 new U.S. sales associates during the latest quarter, up 7.5% from the total for the comparable quarter in 2004, and the company says it is putting more emphasis on agent training.