American International Group Inc. swung to a quarterly profit but suffered a setback in its turnaround effort for its property-casualty insurance unit, while four other big insurers posted stronger-than-expected operating results for the third quarter.
Analysts at Evercore ISI dubbed Wednesday as “Insurance Super Day” with life insurers MetLife Inc., Prudential Financial Inc. and Lincoln National Corp., along with car and home insurer Allstate Corp. and AIG, reporting results after the closing bell.
The improved results at the three life insurers come despite a tough environment for sales of many of their interest-rate-related products. The property casualty insurers, meanwhile, reported higher catastrophe losses from storms versus an unusually placid hurricane season the prior year.
AIG’s shares tumbled 3.4% after hours, while Allstate gained 4.1% and MetLife added 2.5%. The others were unchanged.
MetLife, in one of its last few quarters as the U.S.’s biggest life insurer by assets, said its results were buoyed by a 6% increase in net investment income to $5.2 billion. That gain was driven by strong performance of private-equity holdings and the sale of a real-estate joint venture interest. MetLife is spinning off part of its U.S. retail life-insurance operations into a new company as early as the first quarter.
Prudential, which is set to succeed MetLife as the biggest life insurer, highlighted strength in its international business, along with new business in its retirement and asset management divisions.
Smaller peer Lincoln National Corp. said its operating earnings for the quarter marked a record, citing expense and capital management as factors. And Allstate reported higher property-liability insurance premiums but a big increase in catastrophe losses.
By LESLIE SCISM
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