MetLife's (NYSE:MET) stock surged today after the life insurance giant posted solid gains in revenue and net income in the first quarter, beating earnings estimates.
Net income jumped to $4.4 billion, or $4.75 per share, from $1.3 billion, or $1.40 per share, in the first quarter of 2019. Adjusted earnings, which is a more accurate year-over-year measure for insurance companies, was up 2% to $1.4 billion over the previous year's quarter. Adjusted earnings per share was $1.58 per share, up 3% from the first quarter of 2019. Total revenue climbed 12% in the quarter to $18.3 billion.
In the U.S. business, adjusted earnings were up 8%. driven by a 26% increase in the retirement and income solutions business that saw variable investment income and volume growth. Also, earnings in the property and casualty business were up 12% on favorable underwriting and expense margins. These gains were offset by a 38% decrease in net investment income to $3 billion, which resulted in net investment income loss of $288 million.
MetLife posted a book value of $72.62 per share, up 25% from the previous year. Further, MetLife reported $5.3 billion of cash and liquid assets, which is above the target range of $3 billion to $4 billion.
"In the first quarter, MetLife delivered solid results that affirm our underlying financial strength. We entered this period of uncertainty with a business that is less capital intensive, an investment portfolio that is well positioned for a downturn, and a commitment to expense discipline that is stronger than ever," MetLife President and CEO Michel Khalaf said.
The stock price was up 8% in early trading, but for the year, it's still down more than 30%.