NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MetLife ( MET) lost a little life Thursday after reporting a huge second-quarter loss, gouged by investment declines, but the firm still managed to top Wall Street targets.

In the quarter, the insurer said it lost $1.43 billion, or $1.74 a share, compared with a profit of $915 million, or $1.26 a share, in the year-ago period.

Derivative losses of $1.8 billion were to blame for the red-stained results. About $1 billion of that figure was linked to an increase in MetLife's own debt during the latest quarter.

Excluding net realized investment gains and losses, the company earned $723 million, or 88 cents a share, handily beating analysts' EPS expectations of 68 cents.

Premiums, fees and other revenue rose 4% to $8.38 billion.

Shares of MetLife were trading in after hours action at $33.10, down 47 cents from the close in the regular session, when the stock advanced 4%.

Rival Prudential Financial ( PRU)is expected to release its second-quarter results on Aug. 4.

-Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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