MetLife clears Wall Street estimates for second-quarter profit

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MetLife clears Wall Street estimates for second-quarter profit

U.S. insurer MetLife Inc cleared Wall Street estimates for second-quarter profit on Wednesday, as solid investment gains cushioned the hit from coronavirus-related claims.

Metlife reported adjusted earnings of $2.1 billion or $2.37 per share, for the second quarter ended June 30 from $758 million or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected a profit of $1.62 per share at average estimates, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The New York-based insurer said in May that the worst of the pandemic was behind it, as a rebound in investment income helped global life insurers offset some of the impact from payouts related to the health crisis.

Metlife reported a 29% rise in net investment income to $5.28 billion on strong returns from private-equity investments.

Earlier in the day, Prudential Financial Inc also said that the effect of COVID 19 on its individual and group life insurance looks lessening in the third quarter.

Adjusted earnings at Metlife's U.S. business jumped 72%, helping it offset a poor performance in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where their businesses were hurt by higher COVID - 19 - related claims.

Adjusted earnings in U.S. group business took a $75 million hit from claims related to the health crisis, the insurer said.

MetLife reported net derivatives of $421 million during the second quarter.

The insurer holds a book of derivatives to hedge against market volatility. Such gains do not reflect the actual performance of the company, but indicate the effect of accounting rules, an issue that has occurred in some previous quarters.

Metlife also announced its board had approved a new $1 billion share buyback plan.