AmerUs Group ( AMH), a life insurance and annuity products company, said its third-quarter earnings fell 49.7% from the year-ago period, on the back of charges. The Des Moines, Iowa-based company earned $5.3 million, or 12 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $38.6 million, or 91 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted net operating income was $52.4 million, or $1.22 a share, in the quarter, compared with $48.6 million, or $1.14 a share, a year ago. Adjusted for capital transactions associated with the Aviva merger, the company earned $1.27 a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.26 a share. Third-quarter revenue rose 14.6% from the year-ago period to $496.4 million, as compared to analysts' expectation of $425.7 million. Sales of fixed-life products increased 13% to $33.5 million, driven by consumer demand. Fixed annuity products sales remained flat at $687 million. Net investment income was $291 million in the quarter compared with $279 million last year, led by growth in invested assets and higher yields on investments. The company's shares were trading up 3 cents to $68.51 Wednesday.