Metropolitan Life Insurance Company expects to achieve a 7% gain in operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011, according to newly released financial results.

MetLife Inc., New York, states in a press release that it expects fourth quarter 2011 operating earnings of between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion ($1.16 to $1.26 per share), up 7% from $1.2 billion ($1.19 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company also expects 2012 operating earnings to be between $5.1 billion and $5.6 billion ($4.80 to $5.20 per share), up 7% over 2011 adjusted results.

The adjustments reflect several one-time items in 2011 and the estimated impact of an industry-wide change in accounting methodology, the company says.

In addition to operating earnings growth in 2012, MetLife projects that it will increase premiums, fees and other revenues by 5% over 2011 to between $47.3 billion and $48.6 billion.

The company further estimates that its full year 2011 operating earnings will grow 32% to between $5.2 billion and $5.3 billion ($4.83 to $4.93 per share), compared with $3.9 billion ($4.43 per share) in 2010.

For 2011, MetLife says it expects to grow its premiums, fees and other revenues 32% to be between $46.3 billion and $46.8 billion, compared with $35.2 billion in 2010.