(MET) Metlife to Add Turkish Unit

According to media reports, Dexia SA will vend Deniz Emeklilik & Hayat AS, the insurance unit of Denizbank AS, Dexia’s bank in Turkey to Metlife Inc. (MET) for €161.9 million. Concurrently, France’s AXA is negotiating the distribution of property and casualty insurance on behalf of Deniz Bank.

MetLife has grown its core businesses while successfully executing its growth strategy that also includes acquisitions, mergers, divestitures and alliances.

The company has also been undergoing a development and restructuring phase to keep pace with the economic volatility. While the company is set to wind up its operations in Taiwan, it has acquired American Life Insurance Company (ALICO), a unit of American International Group Inc. (AIG) for $16.4 billion in November 2010. The payment made to AIG consisted of cash of $7.2 billion and $9.0 billion in MetLife equity and other debt securities.

In the first quarter, premiums, fees and other revenues at the International segment increased more than three fold reflecting strong performance after the ALICO acquisition coupled with growth in Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions. We expect the addition of the insurance unit of Denizbank will add to its burgeoning business and profitability going forward.

MetLife reported a strong first quarter earnings surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate driven by growth from international business, strong underwriting results and investment income. However, decreased U.S. premiums, higher expenses and swelling derivative losses were on the downside.

In its earnings conference call, the company guided 2011 earnings in the range of $4.75–$5.15 per share.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter 2011 is $1.20 per share. For full years 2011 and 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimates are, respectively, $5.17 per share and $5.82 per share.

We maintain a “Neutral” recommendation on Metlife Inc. over the long term. The quantitative Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) for the company indicates no clear directional pressure on the stock over the near term.

Based in New York, MetLife, Inc. is a leading provider of insurance and financial services to a broad spectrum of individual and institutional customers. It competes with American International Group Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU).

AMER INTL GRP (AIG): Free Stock Analysis Report

METLIFE INC (MET): Free Stock Analysis Report

PRUDENTIAL FINL (PRU): Free Stock Analysis Report

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