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MET > SEC Filings for MET > Form 10-Q on 8-May-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for METLIFE INC

Form 10-Q for METLIFE INC


8-May-2014

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results
of Operations
Index to Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Page Forward-Looking Statements and Other Financial Information 83 Executive Summary 83 Industry Trends 85 Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates 92 Economic Capital 92 Acquisitions and Disposition 93 Results of Operations 93 Investments 110 Derivatives 124 Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements 127 Policyholder Liabilities 128 Liquidity and Capital Resources 136 Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements 147 Future Adoption of New Accounting Pronouncements 147 Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures 148 Subsequent Event s 149


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Forward-Looking Statements and Other Financial Information For purposes of this discussion, "MetLife," the "Company," "we," "our" and "us" refer to MetLife, Inc., a Delaware corporation incorporated in 1999, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Following this summary is a discussion addressing the consolidated results of operations and financial condition of the Company for the periods indicated. This discussion should be read in conjunction with MetLife, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 (the "2013 Annual Report"), the forward-looking statement information included below, the "Risk Factors" set forth in Part II, Item 1A, and the additional risk factors referred to therein, "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" and the Company's interim condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere herein.
This Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. See "Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements." This Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations includes references to our performance measures, operating earnings and operating earnings available to common shareholders, that are not based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"). Operating earnings is the measure of segment profit or loss we use to evaluate segment performance and allocate resources. Consistent with GAAP guidance for segment reporting, operating earnings is our measure of segment performance. Operating earnings is also a measure by which senior management's and many other employees' performance is evaluated for the purposes of determining their compensation under applicable compensation plans. See "- Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures" for definitions of such measures. Executive Summary
MetLife is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs throughout the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife offers life insurance, annuities, property & casualty insurance, and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. MetLife is organized into six segments, reflecting three broad geographic regions: Retail; Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; and Latin America (collectively, the "Americas"); Asia; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa ("EMEA"). In addition, the Company reports certain of its results of operations in Corporate & Other, which includes MetLife Home Loans LLC ("MLHL"), the surviving, non-bank entity of the merger of MetLife Bank, National Association ("MetLife Bank") with and into MLHL. See Note 3 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in the 2013 Annual Report for information regarding the exiting of the MetLife Bank businesses and other business activities.
On February 14, 2014, the Company entered into a definitive agreement to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, MetLife Assurance Limited ("MAL"). As a result, in the first quarter of 2014, MetLife, Inc. began reporting the operations of MAL as divested business. See Note 3 of the Notes to the Interim Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements. Consequently, the results for Corporate Benefit Funding and Corporate & Other have decreased by $5 million, net of $3 million of income tax, and $3 million, net of $2 million of income tax, respectively, for the three months ended March 31, 2013.
On October 1, 2013, MetLife, Inc. completed its previously announced acquisition of Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones Provida S.A. ("ProVida"), the largest private pension fund administrator in Chile based on assets under management and number of pension fund contributors. The acquisition of ProVida supports the Company's growth strategy in emerging markets and further strengthens the Company's overall position in Chile. See Note 3 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in the 2013 Annual Report for further information on the acquisition of ProVida.


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In 2013, MetLife, Inc. announced its plans to merge three U.S.-based life insurance companies and an offshore reinsurance subsidiary to create one larger U.S.-based and U.S.-regulated life insurance company (the "Mergers"). The companies to be merged are MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut ("MICC"), MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company ("MLI-USA") and MetLife Investors Insurance Company, each a U.S. insurance company that issues variable annuity products in addition to other products, and Exeter Reassurance Company, Ltd. ("Exeter"), a reinsurance company that mainly reinsures guarantees associated with variable annuity products. MICC, which is expected to be renamed and domiciled in Delaware, will be the surviving entity. Exeter, formerly a Cayman Islands company, was re-domesticated to Delaware in October 2013. Effective January 1, 2014, following receipt of New York State Department of Financial Services (the "Department of Financial Services") approval, MICC withdrew its license to issue insurance policies and annuity contracts in New York. Also effective January 1, 2014, MICC reinsured with an affiliate all existing New York insurance policies and annuity contracts that include a separate account feature; on December 31, 2013, MICC deposited investments with an estimated fair market value of $6.3 billion into a custodial account to secure MICC's remaining New York policyholder liabilities not covered by such reinsurance, which became restricted on January 1, 2014. The Mergers are expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Mergers (i) may mitigate to some degree the impact of any restrictions on the use of captive reinsurers that could be adopted by the Department of Financial Services or other state insurance regulators by reducing our exposure to and use of captive reinsurers; (ii) will alleviate the need to use holding company cash to fund derivative collateral requirements; (iii) will increase transparency relative to our capital allocation and variable annuity risk management; and (iv) may impact the aggregate amount of dividends permitted to be paid without insurance regulatory approval. See "- Industry Trends - Regulatory Developments - Insurance Regulatory Examinations," "- Liquidity and Capital Resources - MetLife, Inc. - Liquidity and Capital Sources - Dividends from Subsidiaries" and Note 6 of the Notes to the Interim Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the impact of these Mergers and see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - The Company - Capital - Affiliated Captive Reinsurance Transactions" included in the 2013 Annual Report for information on our use of captive reinsurers. See also "Risk Factors - Acquisition-Related Risks - We Could Face Difficulties, Unforeseen Liabilities, Asset Impairments or Rating Actions Arising from Business Acquisitions or Integrating and Managing Growth of Such Businesses, Dispositions of Businesses, or Legal Entity Reorganizations" included in the 2013 Annual Report for information regarding the potential impact on our operations if the Mergers or related regulatory approvals are prevented or delayed.
Management continues to evaluate the Company's segment performance and allocated resources and may adjust related measurements in the future to better reflect segment profitability.
Sales experience was mixed across our businesses. As a result of our continued focus on pricing discipline and risk management, we experienced a decrease in sales of our variable annuity products. Unfavorable mortality and morbidity experience adversely impacted our results. An increase in the average value of our separate accounts from strong equity market performance in 2013 produced higher asset-based fee revenue and positive net flows in combination with sales growth increased our investment portfolio, resulting in higher investment income. The sustained low interest rate environment reduced investment yields, but also reduced interest crediting rates. In addition, changes in long-term interest rates and foreign currency exchanges resulted in derivative gains for the current period compared with losses in the prior period. Finally, the current period includes an impairment loss on the disposition of MAL.

                                                                Three Months
                                                                    Ended
                                                                  March 31,
                                                              2014        2013

Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax $ 1,342     $   995
Less: Net investment gains (losses)                            (411 )       314
Less: Net derivative gains (losses)                             343        (630 )
Less: Other adjustments to continuing operations (1)           (302 )      (735 )
Less: Provision for income tax (expense) benefit                120         389
Operating earnings                                            1,592       1,657
Less: Preferred stock dividends                                  30          30
Operating earnings available to common shareholders         $ 1,562     $ 1,627


__________________


(1) See definitions of operating revenues and operating expenses under "- Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures" for the components of such adjustments.


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Three Months Ended March 31, 2014 Compared with the Three Months Ended March 31, 2013
During the three months ended March 31, 2014, income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, increased $347 million over the prior period. The change was predominantly due to a favorable change in net derivative gains (losses) of $973 million ($632 million, net of income tax) driven by changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates. This was offset by an unfavorable change in net investment gains (losses) of $725 million ($471 million, net of income tax) primarily driven by an impairment loss on the disposition of MAL. Also included in income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, were the results of the divested businesses, which improved $120 million ($76 million, net of income tax) over the prior period. Operating earnings available to common shareholders decreased $65 million from the prior period.
The decrease in operating earnings available to common shareholders reflects unfavorable mortality and morbidity experience and a decrease in investment yields, along with higher asset-based fee revenues from improved equity market performance, higher net investment income from portfolio growth and a decrease in interest credited expense. Our results for the current period include charges totaling $57 million for a settlement with the Department of Financial Services and the District Attorney, New York County in relation to their respective inquiries into whether American Life Insurance Company ("American Life") and Delaware American Life Insurance Company ("DelAm") conducted business in New York without a license and whether representatives acting on behalf of the companies solicited, sold or negotiated insurance products in New York without a license. The fourth quarter 2013 acquisition of ProVida in Chile increased operating earnings available to common shareholders by $54 million, net of income tax. Effective January 1, 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") mandated that an annual fee be imposed on health insurers. The quarterly impact of this fee reduced operating earnings by $14 million. Consolidated Company Outlook
As part of an enterprise-wide strategic initiative, by 2016, we expect to increase our operating return on common equity, excluding accumulated other comprehensive income ("AOCI"), to the 12% to 14% range, driven by higher operating earnings. This target assumes that regulatory capital rules appropriately reflect the life insurance business model and that we have clarity on the rules in a reasonable time frame, allowing for meaningful share repurchases prior to 2016. If we are unable to engage in such repurchases, we expect the range of our operating return on common equity, excluding AOCI, to be 11% to 13%. Also, as part of this initiative, we will leverage our scale to improve the value we provide to customers and shareholders in order to achieve $1 billion in efficiencies, $600 million of which is expected to be related to net pre-tax expense savings, and $400 million of which we expect to be primarily reinvested in our technology, platforms and functionality to improve our current operations and develop new capabilities. We also continue to shift our product mix toward protection products and away from more capital-intensive products, in order to generate more predictable operating earnings and cash flows, and improve our risk profile and free cash flow.
We expect to achieve the 2016 target range on our operating return on common equity by primarily focusing on the following:
Growth in premiums, fees and other revenues driven by:

- Accelerated growth in Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits;

- Increased fee revenue reflecting the benefit of higher equity markets on our separate account balances; and

- Increases in our businesses outside of the U.S., notably accident & health, from continuing organic growth throughout our various geographic regions and leveraging of our multichannel distribution network.

Expanding our presence in emerging markets, including potential merger and acquisition activity. We expect that by 2016, 20% or more of our operating earnings will come from emerging markets, with the acquisition of ProVida contributing to this increase.

Focus on disciplined underwriting. We see no significant changes to the underlying trends that drive underwriting results; however, unanticipated catastrophes could result in a high volume of claims.

Focus on expense management in the light of the low interest rate environment, and continued focus on expense control throughout the Company.

Continued disciplined approach to investing and asset/liability management ("ALM"), through our enterprise risk and ALM governance process.

Industry Trends
We continue to be impacted by the unstable global financial and economic environment that has been affecting the industry.


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Financial and Economic Environment
Our business and results of operations are materially affected by conditions in the global capital markets and the economy generally. Stressed conditions, volatility and disruptions in global capital markets, particular markets, or financial asset classes can have an adverse effect on us, in part because we have a large investment portfolio and our insurance liabilities are sensitive to changing market factors. Global market factors, including interest rates, credit spreads, equity prices, real estate markets, foreign currency exchange rates, consumer spending, business investment, government spending, the volatility and strength of the capital markets, deflation and inflation, all affect the business and economic environment and, ultimately, the amount and profitability of our business. Disruptions in one market or asset class can also spread to other markets or asset classes. Upheavals in the financial markets can also affect our business through their effects on general levels of economic activity, employment and customer behavior. While our diversified business mix and geographically diverse business operations partially mitigate these risks, correlation across regions, countries and global market factors may reduce the benefits of diversification. Financial markets have also been affected by concerns over U.S. fiscal and monetary policy, although recent signs of Congressional compromise, reflected in the passage of a two-year budget agreement in December 2013 and the approval on February 12, 2014 of a bill to raise the debt ceiling until March 2015, appear to have alleviated some of these concerns. However, unless long-term steps are taken to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the federal deficit, rating agencies have warned of the possibility of future downgrades of U.S. Treasury securities. These issues could, on their own, or combined with the possible slowing of the global economy generally, send the U.S. into a new recession, have severe repercussions to the U.S. and global credit and financial markets, further exacerbate concerns over sovereign debt of other countries and disrupt economic activity in the U.S. and elsewhere. Concerns about the economic conditions, capital markets and the solvency of certain European Union ("EU") member states, including Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain ("Europe's perimeter region") and Cyprus, and of financial institutions that have significant direct or indirect exposure to debt issued by these countries, have been a cause of elevated levels of market volatility. However, after several tumultuous years, economic conditions in Europe's perimeter region seem to be stabilizing or improving, as evidenced by the stabilization of credit ratings, particularly in Spain, Portugal and Ireland. This, combined with greater European Central Bank ("ECB") support and improving macroeconomic conditions at the country level, has reduced the risk of default on the sovereign debt of certain countries in Europe's perimeter region and Cyprus and the risk of possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone. See "- Investments - Current Environment" for information regarding credit ratings downgrades, support programs for Europe's perimeter region and Cyprus and our exposure to obligations of European governments and private obligors.
The financial markets have also been affected by concerns that other EU member states could experience similar financial troubles, that some countries could default on their obligations, have to restructure their outstanding debt, or that financial institutions with significant holdings of sovereign or private debt issued by borrowers in Europe's perimeter region or Cyprus could experience financial stress, any of which could have significant adverse effects on the European and global economies and on financial markets, generally. In September 2012, the ECB announced a new bond buying program, Outright Monetary Transactions ("OMT"), intended to stabilize the European financial crisis. This program involves the potential purchase by the ECB of unlimited quantities of sovereign bonds with maturities of one to three years. The OMT has not been activated to date, but the possibility of its use by the ECB has succeeded in reducing investor concerns over the possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone and has helped to lower sovereign yields in Europe's perimeter region and Cyprus. The Euro zone has emerged from its recession, but economic growth is expected to remain relatively muted, with concerns over low inflation becoming more pronounced as countries in Europe's perimeter region and Cyprus in particular continue to pursue policies to reduce their relative cost of production and reduce macroeconomic imbalances. More recently, concerns about the political and economic stability of countries in regions outside the EU, including Ukraine and Russia, and the potential for economic sanctions to be imposed on Russia, have contributed to global market volatility. See "Risk Factors - Economic Environment and Capital Markets-Related Risks - We Are Exposed to Significant Financial and Capital Markets Risks Which May Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations, Financial Condition and Liquidity, and May Cause Our Net Investment Income to Vary from Period to Period," and "Risk Factors - Economic Environment and Capital Markets-Related Risks - If Difficult Conditions in the Global Capital Markets and the Economy Generally Persist, They May Materially Adversely Affect Our Business and Results of Operations" included in the 2013 Annual Report.


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We face substantial exposure to the Japanese economy given our operations there. Despite a broad recovery in Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") growth and rising inflation over the last year, structural weaknesses and debt sustainability have yet to be addressed effectively, which leaves the economy vulnerable to further disruption. The global financial crisis further pressured Japan's budget outcomes and public debt levels. Going forward, Japan's structural and demographic challenges may continue to limit its potential growth unless reforms that boost productivity are put into place. Japan's high public sector debt levels are mitigated by low refinancing risks and its nominal yields on government debt have remained at a lower level than that of any other advanced country. However, frequent changes in government have prevented policy makers from implementing fiscal reform measures to put public finances on a sustainable path. In January 2013, the government and the Bank of Japan pledged to strengthen policy coordination to end deflation and to achieve sustainable economic growth. This was followed by the announcement of a supplementary budget stimulus program totaling 2% of GDP and the adoption of a 2% inflation target by the Bank of Japan. In early April 2013, the Bank of Japan announced a new round of monetary easing measures including increased government bond purchases at longer maturities. In October 2013, the government agreed to raise the consumption tax from 5% to 8% effective April 1, 2014. While this was a positive step, the fiscal impact is likely to be neutral in the short term given the accompanying stimulus spending package. Although the yen has weakened, and the Bank of Japan has been able to boost inflation expectations, it is too soon to tell whether these actions will have a sustained impact on Japan's economy. Japan's public debt trajectory could continue to rise until a strategy to consolidate public finances and growth-enhancing reforms are implemented. Impact of a Sustained Low Interest Rate Environment As a global insurance company, we are affected by the monetary policy of central banks around the world, as well as the monetary policy of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the "Federal Reserve Board") in the United States. The Federal Reserve Board has taken a number of actions in recent years to spur economic activity by keeping interest rates low and may take further actions to influence interest rates in the future, which may have an impact on the pricing levels of risk-bearing investments, and may adversely impact the level of product sales.
On April 30, 2014, the Federal Reserve Board's Federal Open Market Committee ("FOMC"), citing cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions since the inception of the current asset purchase program, decided to continue to modestly reduce the pace of its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities from $25 billion per month to $20 billion per month and the pace of its purchases of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities from $30 billion per month to $25 billion per month, beginning in May 2014. In December 2013 and in January and March 2014, the FOMC determined to make similar measured reductions in the pace of its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities and the pace of its purchases of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. These quantitative easing measures are intended to stimulate the economy by keeping interest rates at low levels. The FOMC will closely monitor economic and financial developments in determining when to further moderate these quantitative easing measures, including with respect to the outlook for the labor market and inflation, as well as its assessment of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases. The FOMC has stated that it will likely reduce the pace of its bond purchases in further measured steps at future meetings if subsequent economic data remains broadly aligned with its current expectations for a strengthening in the U.S. economy. Any additional action by the Federal Reserve Board to reduce its quantitative easing program could potentially increase U.S. interest rates from recent historically low levels, with uncertain impacts on U.S. risk markets, and may affect interest rates and risk markets in other developed and emerging economies. Even after the quantitative easing program ends and the economy strengthens, the FOMC reaffirmed that it anticipates keeping the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to .25%, again subject to labor market conditions and inflation indicators and expectations. While Janet Yellen, appointed on January 6, 2014 as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, has pledged continuity in the Federal Reserve Board's monetary policy, it is possible that the course of such policy could change under a new Chairman.
Despite recent actions by central banks in Turkey, Brazil and India to raise . . .

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