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MetLife Q4 net income slightly down

MetLife has reported net income available to common shareholders of $954 million

MetLife, a provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services, has reported net income available to common shareholders of $954 million, or $1.20 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with $1.08 billion, or $1.44 per share, for the same quarter of 2007.

Operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $148 million, or $0.19 per share, compared with $1.16 billion, or $1.54 per share, for the same period of 2007. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $13.96 billion, compared to $12.31 billion in the same quarter of 2007.

MetLife also reported full-year 2008 net income of $3.08 billion, or $4.14 per share, compared with $4.18 billion, or $5.48 per share, for 2007.

Operating earnings for 2008 were $2.74 billion, or $3.67 per share, compared with $4.57 billion, or $6 per share, for 2007. Total revenues for 2008 were $50.99 billion, compared to $47.16 billion in 2007.

Robert Henrikson, chairman, president and CEO of MetLife, said: In 2008, MetLife generated a strong, 11% increase in top line results in what is clearly the most challenging economic environment we have experienced in decades. During the year, we benefited from a flight to quality in the marketplace. Our core businesses continued to grow and we achieved a number of positive results, including higher pension close-out sales as well as strong annuity deposits in both the U.S. and Japan.