Stronger investment division results helped Prudential Financial Inc. post higher profits for the fourth quarter of 2006.

Prudential, Newark, N.J., is reporting $1 billion in net income for the latest quarter on $8.9 billion in revenue, up from $364 million in net income on $7.9 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Total results at Prudential include results for a large closed block of business.

Net income at Prudential’s financial services businesses increased to $893 million, from $377 million, the company says.

Adjusted operating income fell to $349 million, from $365 million, at the insurance division, due in part to less favorable mortality experience, Prudential says.

Variable life sales fell to $20 million, from $27 million, but universal life sales increased to $75 million, from $56 million, and term life sales increased to $48 million, from $33 million, Prudential says.

At the investment division, adjusted operating income increased to $355 million, from a loss of $4 million. Overall division results improved in part because results for the fourth quarter of 2005 included reserves set aside to cover the cost of market-timing settlements, Prudential says.

In other earnings news:

- Lincoln National Corp., Philadelphia, is reporting $381 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.7 billion in revenue, up from $225 million in net income on $1.4 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

An acquisition and strong universal life sales activity helped increase paid annualized individual life premium revenue 37%, to $218 million.

Variable annuity sales and account value growth also were strong, Lincoln says.

- Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, is reporting $292 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.6 billion in revenue, up from $255 million in net income on $2.5 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Health and specialty benefits loss ratios were worse than they were in the comparable quarter in 2005, the company says.

- Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, is reporting $154 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.1 billion in revenue, up from $130 million in net income on $1.1 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Individual variable annuity sales increased 60%, to $1.4 billion.

- Torchmark Corp., McKinney, Texas, is reporting $142 million in net income for the latest quarter on $857 million in revenue, up from $126 million in net income on $769 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Sales of limited-benefit health insurance were strong, and Medicare Part D benefit costs have been lower than expected, Torchmark says.

- Protective Life Corp., Birmingham, Ala., is reporting $85 million in net income for the latest quarter on $761 million in revenue, up from $69 million in net income on $513 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Total annuity sales increased to $1.2 billion, from $587 million, due in part to the effects of an acquisition.

- FBL Financial Group Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa, is reporting $24 million in net income for the latest quarter on $264 million in revenue, up from $20 million in net income on $189 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

- Assurant Inc., New York, is reporting $252 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.2 billion in revenue, up from $137 million in net income on $1.9 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Net earned premiums at the employee benefits unit fell 9%, to $280 million, because of a shift to a small case strategy, the company says.

- Aetna Inc., Hartford, is reporting $434 million in net income for the latest quarter on $6.4 billion in revenue, up from $416 million in net income on $5.9 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 15 million people, up 4.1% from the total recorded a year earlier.

- Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., is reporting $155 million in net income for the latest quarter on $5.7 billion in revenue, up from $62 million in net income on $3.7 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 11 million people, up from 7.1 million people a year earlier.

- CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, is reporting $218 million in net income for the latest quarter on $4.2 billion in revenue, compared with $239 million in net income on $4.2 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Adjusted operating income, which excludes some earnings, charges and accounting effects, increased to $266 million, from $235 million, CIGNA says.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 9.4 million people, up from 9.1 million people a year earlier.

- Coventry Health Care Inc., Bethesda, Md., is reporting $156 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.9 billion in revenue, up from $126 million in net income on $1.7 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The managed care company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 2.5 million people, about as many as it was covering a year earlier.