AmerUs Group ( AMH), a life insurance and annuity products company, said its first-quarter earnings rose 27.2% from a year-ago period. The Des Moines, Iowa-based company earned $78.2 million, or $1.86 a share, in the quarter, compared with $61.5 million, or $1.43 a share, a year ago. Adjusted net operating income was $51 million, or $1.22 a share, in the most recent quarter, a penny ahead of the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate. First-quarter revenue rose 32.9% from a year-ago period to $470.4 million as against analysts' expectation of $418 million. The company expects adjusted net operating income of $4.90 a share to $5.10 a share in the full year, in line with its earlier forecast, while analysts are expecting earnings of $5.02 a share.