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Annuities Strong at MetLife

Operating earnings beat targets and the insurer guides higher.
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first-quarter profit slid 28% amid increased investment losses, but operating earnings topped estimates and the insurer raised its guidance for the full year.

The company's net earnings totaled $714 million, or 93 cents a share, down from $987 million, or $1.33 a share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $11.59 billion from $10.26 billion.

Operating earnings, which exclude investment losses and discontinued operations, rose to $1.03 billion, or $1.33 a share, from $822 million, or $1.11 a share, last year. Analysts had an average estimate for operating earnings of $1.09 a share, according to Thomson First Call.

The company's results were aided by its acquisition of Travelers Life & Annuity, which helped earnings growth in its institutional and individual business groups. Total annuity deposits jumped 51% to $3.84 billion from $2.54 billion.

MetLife raised its full-year guidance to $4.55 to $4.75 a share from its prior forecast of $4.25 to $4.50 a share. Analysts target full-year EPS of $4.50.