MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET.PRA) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 05, 2016 • 08:00 am ET

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MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET.PRA) Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Operator
Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the MetLife First Quarter 2016 Earnings Release Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct the question-and-answer session, instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

Before we get started, I would like to read the following statement on behalf of MetLife. Except with respect to historical information, statements made in this conference call constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws including statements relating to trends in the Company's operations and financial results, and the business and the products of the company and its subsidiaries. MetLife's actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties including those described from time-to-time in MetLife's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Risk Factor section of those filings.

MetLife specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise. With that, I would like to turn the call over to Ed Spehar, Head of Investor Relations.

Executive
Edward A. Spehar

Thank you, Greg. Good morning, everyone, and welcome MetLife's First Quarter 2016 Earnings Call. We will be discussing certain financial measures not based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, so-called non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures and related definitions to the most directly comparable GAAP measures may be found on the Investor Relations portion of metlife.com, in our earnings release and our quarterly financial supplements. A reconciliation of forward-looking financial information to the most directly comparable GAAP measure is not accessible because MetLife believes it's not possible to provide a reliable forecast of net investment and net derivative gains and losses, which can fluctuate from period-to-period and may have a significant impact on GAAP net income.

Now joining me this morning on the call are Steve Kandarian, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and John Hele, Chief Financial Officer. After their prepared remarks, we will take your questions. Also here with us today to participate in the discussions are other members of senior management. After prepared remarks, we will have a Q&A session. In fairness to all participants, please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Steve.

Executive
Steven Albert Kandarian

Thank you, Ed, and good morning, everyone. Last night, we reported first quarter operating earnings per share of $1.20, which compares to $1.44 per share in the first quarter 2015. The negative impact from market factors more than offset a benefit from volume growth. The combination of weak equity markets for most of the quarter continued strength in the US dollar, and low interest rates reduced operating earnings by $0.16 per share versus the prior-year period. In addition, variable investment income or VII, declined by $0.12 per share.

Variable investment income can be volatile, largely because it is driven by the performance of alternative