NEW YORK (AP)—MetLife Inc. swung to a loss in the first three months of the year, mainly because its complex financial investments lost value.
The insurance giant released the preliminary figures ahead of schedule Friday after accidentally disclosing them on its website. MetLife said it will disclose revised figures next week that give a more reliable picture of the company’s finances.
MetLife posted a net loss in the quarter ended March 31 of $94 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with net income of $701 million, or 66 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.
Most of the loss came from declining value of derivatives—financial products whose value is based on the price of another investment. MetLife lost $1.98 billion on derivatives in the first quarter, up from a loss of $315 million in the same period a year earlier.
MetLife buys derivatives to protect against unexpected costs related to changes in interest rates or foreign currency exchange rates, a company spokesman said. MetLife’s per-share profit was $1.85 lower as a result of the derivatives loss, the company said.
The company’s revenue for the quarter rose seven percent, to $16.69 billion from $15.61 billion in the same period a year earlier. It collected more insurance premiums, fees on life insurance and investment products and gains on investments.
MetLife’s operating income, which excludes gains and losses on derivatives, investments, taxes and other non-core items, was $1.46 billion, or $1.37 per share.