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American Equity Identifies Impairments

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American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, an annuity underwriter, says it has recorded more “other than temporary impairments” for the fourth quarter of 2008.

American Equity, West Des Moines, Iowa, a company best known for selling annuities, previously reported a mark-to-market decline in the fair value of all securities available for sale, including residential mortgage-backed securities, in its preliminary financial statement for the quarter and year ending Dec. 31, 2008.

The additional impairments require American Equity to report the decline in the value of these assets as realized losses on investments in its statement of operations for the fourth quarter of 2008, the company says.

As a result of the restatement, realized losses on investments increased to about $96 million for the fourth quarter from $23 million previously reported, with a corresponding decrease in net from $4.2 million to a net loss of $22 million for the quarter.

No impairments were recorded on any of the company’s commercial mortgages, American Equity says.

After recognition of the new losses, the company is reporting net income for 2008 of about $21 million on revenues of $342 million, down from net income of about $29 million on revenues of $714.5 million the year before.

The company is reporting realized losses on investments for 2008 of $187 million, up from losses of $3.9 million in 2007.