MetLife Sees Growth as Premiums Rise (Update) - TheStreet

Updates with MetLife share gains after growth forecast.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

said Monday it expects fourth-quarter operating earnings of $740 million to $785 million, or 90 cents to 95 cents a share, a significant rise from a year earlier as premiums and fees increased.

Shares of MetLife rose 1% to close at $35.68.

MetLife said premiums, fees & other revenue for the fourth quarter are expected to be between $8.5 billion and $9.1 billion, up about 7% from a year earlier.

Operating earnings in the year-earlier fourth quarter were $132 million, or 17 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimate insurer MetLife to report operating earnings of 91 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

MetLife expects fourth-quarter net income of between $340 million and $485 million, or 41 cents to 59 cents a share, compared with $954 million, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier. In the fourth quarter of 2008, MetLife recorded derivatives gains of about $1.7 billion.

MetLife said it expects to deliver 2009 operating earnings of between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion, or $2.81 to $2.86 a share. In 2010, MetLife said it expects operating earnings to increase about 50% over 2009 to between $3.3 billion and $3.6 billion, or $4 to $4.40 a share. MetLife's 2010 operating earnings projection doesn't include an anticipated after-tax charge of $30 million, or 4 cents a share, related to operational initiatives, including cost cuts.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York

.

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