MetLife misses expectations

MetLife expects operating earnings to rise as much as seven per cent in 2012, the largest life insurer in the United States said yesterday, though its forecasts for the fourth quarter and full-year 2011 were below expectations. MetLife said it expects 2011 operating earnings of $5.2bn to $5.3bn (£3.3bn to £3.4bn); and 2012 operating earnings of $5.1bn to $5.6bn, or $4.80 to $5.20 per share. MetLife expects to have $6bn to $7bn in capital in 2012 for dividends and other actions. Analysts have said they expect MetLife to raise its dividend substantially and buy back at least $1bn in stock.