Shares of Brighthouse Financial (BHF) jumped 13.95% to $40.68 Tuesday after the annuity and life insurance company beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter revenue expectations.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company posted revenue of $4 billion, up 114.1% year over year, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 96.5%. Adjusted earnings came to $199 million, or $1.68 a share, below the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, which called for earnings of $1.74 a share.
Premiums of $223 million decreased 4.3% year over year. Annuity sales grew 27% over a year ago, driven by an increase in sales of Shield and fixed indexed annuities. The company repurchased $63 million of its common stock during the quarter, bringing the 2018 total to $105 million.
For the year, the company reported profit of $865 million, or $7.21 a share, while revenue totaled $8.97 billion.
During an analysts' conference call on Tuesday, Eric Steigerwalt, president and CEO, said "our first full year as an independent company, was a strong year for Brighthouse, and we made significant progress executing our strategy."
In August 2017, Brighthouse Financial completed its separation from MetLife (MET) .
Steigerwalt said that full-year 2018 annuity sales of $5.9 billion "are significantly ahead of our expectations at the time of separation."
"We expect the drivers of adjusted EPS growth in 2019 to be investment income and capital return," Chief Financial Officer Anant Bhalla said during the call.