Weiss Ratings


Life and Health Insurers' Earnings Climb 63%
in Second Quarter 2004
Industry Reports 120% Increase in Capital Gains

JUPITER, Fla., December 21, 2004 — The nation's life and health insurers reported the best second-quarter results in a decade, earning $17.3 billion, representing a 63.2 percent increase over the $10.6 billion reported in the first half of 2003, according to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks.

Insurers reporting the largest year-over-year increases in earnings include:

Company Headquarters Weiss
Safety
Rating
Assets
($Bil)
Net Income (Loss) ($Mil)
2nd Qtr
2004
2nd Qtr
2003
$
Change
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. New York, N.Y. A- 236.9 1,086.5 244.4 842.1
General Electric Capital Asr. Co. Richmond, Vir. C+ 29.6 915.0 159.1 755.9
Continental Asr. Co. Chicago, Ill. C 6.4 688.9 (61.6) 750.5
Federal Home Life Ins. Co. Lynchburg, Vir. B 1.7 467.0 3.8 463.2
Sunamerica Life Ins. Co. Los Angeles, Calif. B- 65.7 678.6 278.2 400.5

Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak; F=Failed; U=Unrated

"Life and health insurers' strong performance reflects continued improvement in the securities market," commented Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "That translates into revenue growth for market-driven products like annuities and universal life policies."

Industry's Investment Portfolios Improve

Life and health insurers' investment portfolios improved substantially in the first half of 2004. As a result, the industry earned $814.4 million on the sale of investments during the second quarter, representing a $4.8 billion or 120.3 percent improvement, compared to the $4.0 billion capital loss reported during the same period in 2003.

Insurers reporting the largest year-over-year increases in capital gains include:

Company Headquarters Weiss
Safety
Rating
Assets
($Bil)
Capital Gain (Loss) ($Mil)
2nd Qtr
2004
2nd Qtr
2003
$
Change
Union Fidelity Life Ins. Co. Chicago, Ill. C 20.2 432.8 (8.2) 441.0
Continental Assurance Co. Chicago, Ill. C 6.4 320.4 (55.7) 376.1
Teachers Ins. & Annuity Asn. New York, N.Y. A+ 156.5 (130.1) (444.7) 314.6
Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co. Milwaukee, Wis. A 118.3 132.1 (160.1) 292.2
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. New York, N.Y. A- 236.9 11.2 (276.4) 287.6

Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak; F=Failed; U=Unrated

Notable Upgrades and Downgrades

Among the 883 insurers recently reviewed by Weiss, three companies were upgraded and four were downgraded. Insurers upgraded were:

Hartford Life Group Ins. Co. (Chicago, Ill.) from C to C+
Surety Mutual Life & Casualty Co. (Fargo, N.D.) from E to E+
United Funeral Benefit Life Ins. Co. (Wichita Falls, Texas) from E to E+

Insurers downgraded were:

Continental Life Insurance Co. of S.C. (Columbia, S.C.) from D to D-
ING Life Ins. Co. of America (Hartford, Conn.) from C to C-
Union Fidelity Life Ins. Co. (Chicago, Ill.) from B- to C
William Penn Life Ins. Co. of New York (Garden City, N.Y.) from B- to C+

The Weiss Safety Ratings are based on an analysis of a company's risk-adjusted capital, five-year historical profitability, quality of investments, liquidity, and stability. The latter category combines a series of factors including asset growth, premium growth, strength of affiliate companies and risk diversification.

Weiss Ratings, Inc. reviews more than 8,000 stocks daily, including all those traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq. Weiss also issues investment ratings on more than 12,000 mutual funds, covering equity, fixed-income, and closed-end funds, and provides financial safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies. It is the only major rating agency that receives no direct or indirect compensation from the companies it rates for issuing its ratings. Revenues are derived strictly from sales of its products and custom research solutions to consumers, institutions, businesses, libraries, and governmental agencies. Ratings and analyses, consumer financial and investment guides, and other products are available for purchase through www.weissratings.com or by calling 800-289-9222.

 

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Note to Editors: National and state listings of strongest and weakest life, health, and annuity insurers are available.

 

 


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