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Earnings: MetLife, Hartford, Others

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The life and health insurers that came out with first-quarter results this week reported solid increases in net income.

MetLife Inc., New York (NYSE:MET)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $834 million

REVENUE: $13 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $548 million loss

REVENUE: $10 million

- “MetLife delivered very strong first quarter results, generating significant earnings growth, growing premiums, fees and other revenues by 12% and increasing net investment income by 31%,” MetLife Chairman C. Robert Henrikson says. “Improved equity market levels, solid underwriting results and our expense savings efforts also contributed to our strong performance in the quarter.

- Individual life sales were 15% higher than in the first quarter of 2009.

- Variable annuity sales increased 8%.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford (NYSE:HIG)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $319 million

REVENUE: $6.3 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $1.2 billion loss

REVENUE: $5.4 billion

- Life sales increased 5%, and retirement plan deposits increased 15%, to $2.6 billion.

- The life unit reported $186 million in net income, up from a $1.3 billion net loss.

Lincoln National Corp., Radnor, Pa. (NYSE:LNC)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $283 million

REVENUE: $2.5 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $579 million loss

REVENUE: $2.1 billion

- Individual variable annuity net flows increased 26%, to $552 million.

Ameriprise Financial Inc.., Minneapolis. (NYSE:AMP)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $296 million

REVENUE: $2.3 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $116 million

REVENUE: $1.7 billion

- Variable annuity inflows, but VA exit rates improved.

- Fixed annuities experienced $166 million in net outflows, “primarily due to lower sales from the company’s decision to lower crediting rates on new contracts,” Ameriprise says. But fixed annuity redemption rates were much better than they were in the first quarter of 2009.

Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill. (NYSE:ALL)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $120 million

REVENUE: $7.7 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $274 million loss

REVENUE: $7.9 billion

- Allstate Financial produced $4 million in net income for the quarter, compared with a $327 million net loss for the first quarter of 2009.

- Life and annuity premiums and contract charges increased to $544 million, from $484 million.

- Allstate Financial has stopped selling new business through financial institutions and instead is focusing on selling products to customers served by Allstate agencies.

Symetra Financial Corp., Bellevue, Wash. (NYSE:SYA)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $46 million

REVENUE: $453 million

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $5.1 million

REVENUE: $379 million

- Higher interest rate spreads helped retirement services operating income.

- Fixed annuity sales fell because consumers were less nervous and less inclined to lock money away in fixed-rate investments.

Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga.. (NYSE:AFL)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $636 million

REVENUE: $5.1 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $569 million

REVENUE: $4.8 billion

- In Japan, medical insurance was the top-selling product. Sales were 21% higher than in the first quarter of 2009.

- In the United States, in spite of the popularity of the Aflac Duck, “sales growth continued to be challenged by weak economic conditions,” the company says. Total new annualized premium sales fell 10%, to $316 million.

Assurant Inc., New York. (NYSE:AIZ)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $157 million

REVENUE: $2.1 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $81 million

REVENUE: $2.2 billion

- Disability incidence levels were “unusually low,” and life insurance results were favorable.

- In the Assurant Health unit, medical utilization trends were higher.

Reinsurance Group of America Inc., Chesterfield, Mo. (NYSE:RGA)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $122 million

REVENUE: $2.1 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $23 million

REVENUE: $1.5 billion

- In the United States, reinsurance and embedded derivatives associated with variable annuities produced “substantial gains.”

WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis (NYSE:WLP)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $877 million

HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS: 34 million

REVENUE: $15 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $580 million

HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS: 35 million

REVENUE: $15 billion

- Local group enrollment fell 4.7% year over year, but national accounts and BlueCard enrollment increased 1.9%.

- The influena season turned out to be less severe than WellPoint had feared, and that helped hold down expenses.

Aetna Inc., Hartford (NYSE:AET)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $563 million

HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS: 19 million

REVENUE: $8.6 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $438 million

HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS: 19 million

REVENUE: $8.6 billion

- “Economic pressures are still being felt by employers and consumers and are having an impact on enrollment and health care costs,” Aetna Chairman Ronald Williams says.

- The number of shares of common stock outstanding fell 4.8%, to about 440 million, and that helped contribute to a 35% increase in net income per share. Total net income increased 29%.

Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE:HUM)

1 Q 2010 Results

NET INCOME: $259 million

HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS: 10 million

REVENUE: $8.4 billion

1 Q 2009 Results

NET INCOME: $206 million

HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS: 10 million

REVENUE: $7.7 billion

- Enrollment in employer-sponsponsored group plans was about 4.2% lower at the end of the quarter quarter than it was a year earlier, and shrinkage has continued into the current year. Enrollment was about 2.4% lower March 31 than it was at the end of 2009.

- The commercial enrollment drop “primarily reflected the impact of the economy across various of the company’s fully insured group medical lines of business,” Humana says.