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Insurance company



lowered its previously reported second-quarter earnings by $31 million because of improperly deferred expenses at its New England Financial affiliate.

The company said Monday that the change means its quarterly net income was actually $580 million, or 79 cents a share. On Aug. 4, the company had reported second-quarter earnings of $611 million, or 84 cents a share, up from $387 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

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Shares of the company were falling 51 cents to $28.77 in early trading.

"We are disappointed by the need for this adjustment and by the timing of it, one week after the release of our second-quarter results," said CEO Robert H. Benmosche.

Eileen McDonnell, currently senior vice president of MetLife's individual insurance business development segment, has been named president of New England Financial. She's replacing Thom Faria, who has left the company.

The $31 million charge resulted in a reduction to net income and operating earnings in the traditional life insurance and variable and universal life product lines.

Benmosche also said excluding the charge, MetLife continues "to work towards and expect to achieve our 2003 business plan."