UPDATE 1-MetLife results miss estimates as claims increase

miércoles 30 de abril de 2014 18:24 GYT

(Adds details, share movement, compares with estimates)

April 30 (Reuters) - MetLife Inc, the largest U.S. life insurer, reported a 36 percent rise in net income, helped by a derivative gain linked to credit spreads, but operating earnings fell short of market expectations as claims increased.

MetLife, whose shares fell about 2 percent in extended trading on Wednesday, said total claims and benefits rose 4 percent to $9.37 billion in the first quarter ended March 31.

The company, heavily exposed to persistently low U.S. interest rates, has a large derivatives program designed to reduce that risk.

MetLife recorded a net derivative gain, after tax and other adjustments, of $343 million in the quarter compared with a loss of $630 million in the same period of 2013.

The company also took an after-tax charge of $343 million related to the sale of its UK pension risk transfer business to Rothesay Life Ltd.

MetLife Chief Executive Steve Kandarian has tried to scale back on capital-intensive businesses such as annuities to focus more on traditional life insurance and pension products.

The insurer's net profit rose to $1.30 billion, or $1.14 per share, in the quarter from $956 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, the company earned $1.37 per share.   Continuación...