Strong sales of variable life and annuity products helped the financial services businesses at Prudential Financial Inc. during the fourth quarter of 2005.

Prudential, Newark, N.J., is reporting $364 million net income for the latest quarter on $7.9 billion in revenue, compared with $578 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Prudential prefers to report the results for its “closed block business,” which includes in-force participating life and annuity products and related assets, separately from the results for its financial services businesses.

The financial services businesses are reporting $377 million in net income on $5.8 billion in revenue, up from $317 million in net income on $5.2 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Individual variable life sales increased to $47 million, from $19 million, and variable annuity sales increased to $2 billion, from $1.3 billion.

In other earnings news:

- Assurant Inc., New York, is reporting $137 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 on $1.9 billion in revenue, compared with $86 million in net income on $1.9 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

- Aetna Inc., Hartford, is reporting $423 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 on $5.9 billion in revenue, up from $301 million in net income on $5.2 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 15 million people, up from 14 million people a year earlier.