Earnings plummet at MetLife

MetLife’s second-quarter profit plunged 80 per cent due to derivative losses but still managed to beat analysts’ estimates as operating earnings increased in the company’s retail insurance business. The largest life insurer in the US is heavily exposed to persistently low interest rates. But it has long had a substantial derivatives programme designed to smooth out that risk. Net profit fell to $471m, or 43 cents per share, in the second quarter from $2.26bn, or $2.12 per share, a year earlier.