AmerUs Group ( AMH), a life insurance and annuity products company, said its second-quarter earnings rose 27.2% from a year ago, benefiting from lower expenses. The Des Moines, Iowa-based company earned $45.3 million, or $1.09 a share, in the quarter, compared with $35.6 million, or 83 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted net operating income was $51.4 million, or $1.24 a share, in the most recent quarter. Analysts were expecting $1.24 a share. Second-quarter revenue fell 12.3% from the year-ago period to $359.7 million as compared to analysts' expectation of $419.8 million. Net investment income was $287 million in the quarter compared with $277 million last year, led by growth in invested assets and higher yields on new investments. The company's shares closed down 22 cents, or 0.3%, at $67.19 Wednesday.