MetLife Announces Third Quarter Non-Cash Charge

NEW YORK--()--MetLife, Inc. today announced that it expects to record a non-cash charge to operating earnings* and net income of $792 million, after tax, or $0.70 per share*, during the third quarter of 2015, related to the tax treatment of a wholly-owned U.K. investment subsidiary of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC).

This charge, which is being recorded under accounting guidance for the recognition of tax uncertainties, is the result of the company’s consideration of recent decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholding the disallowance of foreign tax credits claimed by other corporate entities not affiliated with the company. The company’s action relates to tax years 2000 to 2009, during which MLIC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MetLife, Inc., held non-U.S. investments in support of its life insurance business through a U.K. investment subsidiary that was structured as a joint venture at the time.

On a statutory basis, the third quarter charge for MLIC will be $911 million, after tax. This charge has no impact on the previously disclosed $1.2 billion of dividends permitted to be paid in 2015 by MLIC without regulatory approval. We expect the impact to dividends permitted to be paid in 2016 without regulatory approval to be a reduction of approximately $90 million.

There has been no change in the company’s position on the disallowance of its foreign tax credits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). MetLife continues to contest the disallowance of these foreign tax credits by the IRS as management believes the facts strongly support the company’s position.

After the company records this charge in the third quarter, the company does not expect any additional charges related to this matter.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

* Non-GAAP and Other Financial Disclosures

Any references in this news release (except in this section) to net income (loss), net income (loss) per share, operating earnings and operating earnings per share should be read as net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders, net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders per diluted common share, operating earnings available to common shareholders and operating earnings available to common shareholders per diluted common share, respectively.

Operating earnings is the measure of segment profit or loss that MetLife uses to evaluate segment performance and allocate resources. Consistent with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) accounting guidance for segment reporting, operating earnings is MetLife’s measure of segment performance. Operating earnings is also a measure by which MetLife senior management’s and many other employees’ performance is evaluated for the purposes of determining their compensation under applicable compensation plans.

Operating earnings is defined as operating revenues less operating expenses, both net of income tax. Operating earnings available to common shareholders is defined as operating earnings less preferred stock dividends.

Operating revenues and operating expenses exclude results of discontinued operations and other businesses that have been or will be sold or exited by MetLife and are referred to as divested businesses. Operating revenues also excludes net investment gains (losses) (NIGL) and net derivative gains (losses) (NDGL). Operating expenses also excludes goodwill impairments.

The following additional adjustments are made to GAAP revenues, in the line items indicated, in calculating operating revenues:

    Universal life and investment-type product policy fees excludes the amortization of unearned revenue related to NIGL and NDGL and certain variable annuity guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB) fees (GMIB fees);
Net investment income: (i) includes amounts for scheduled periodic settlement payments and amortization of premium on derivatives that are hedges of investments or that are used to replicate certain investments but do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment, (ii) includes income from discontinued real estate operations, (iii) excludes post-tax operating earnings adjustments relating to insurance joint ventures accounted for under the equity method, (iv) excludes certain amounts related to contractholder-directed unit-linked investments, and (v) excludes certain amounts related to securitization entities that are variable interest entities (VIEs) consolidated under GAAP; and
Other revenues are adjusted for settlements of foreign currency earnings hedges.

The following additional adjustments are made to GAAP expenses, in the line items indicated, in calculating operating expenses:

    Policyholder benefits and claims and policyholder dividends excludes: (i) changes in the policyholder dividend obligation related to NIGL and NDGL, (ii) inflation-indexed benefit adjustments associated with contracts backed by inflation-indexed investments and amounts associated with periodic crediting rate adjustments based on the total return of a contractually referenced pool of assets and other pass through adjustments, (iii) benefits and hedging costs related to GMIBs (GMIB costs), and (iv) market value adjustments associated with surrenders or terminations of contracts (Market value adjustments);
Interest credited to policyholder account balances includes adjustments for scheduled periodic settlement payments and amortization of premium on derivatives that are hedges of policyholder account balances but do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment and excludes amounts related to net investment income earned on contractholder-directed unit-linked investments;
Amortization of DAC and value of business acquired (VOBA) excludes amounts related to: (i) NIGL and NDGL, (ii) GMIB fees and GMIB costs and (iii) Market value adjustments;
Amortization of negative VOBA excludes amounts related to Market value adjustments;
Interest expense on debt excludes certain amounts related to securitization entities that are VIEs consolidated under GAAP; and
Other expenses excludes costs related to: (i) noncontrolling interests, (ii) implementation of new insurance regulatory requirements, and (iii) acquisition and integration costs.

Operating earnings also excludes the recognition of certain contingent assets and liabilities that could not be recognized at acquisition or adjusted for during the measurement period under GAAP business combination accounting guidance. In addition to the tax impact of the adjustments mentioned above, provision for income tax (expense) benefit also includes the impact related to the timing of certain tax credits, as well as certain tax reforms.

MetLife believes the presentation of operating earnings and operating earnings available to common shareholders as MetLife measures it for management purposes enhances the understanding of the company’s performance by highlighting the results of operations and the underlying profitability drivers of the business. Operating revenues, operating expenses, operating earnings, operating earnings available to common shareholders, operating earnings available to common shareholders per diluted common share, investment portfolio gains (losses) and derivative gains (losses) should not be viewed as substitutes for the following financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP: GAAP revenues, GAAP expenses, income (loss) from continuing operations, net of income tax, net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders, net income (loss) available to MetLife, Inc.’s common shareholders per diluted common share, net investment gains (losses) and net derivative gains (losses), respectively.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning, or are tied to future periods, in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, prospective services or products, future performance or results of current and anticipated services or products, sales efforts, expenses, the outcome of contingencies such as legal proceedings, trends in operations and financial results.

Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. They can be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many such factors will be important in determining the actual future results of MetLife, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and other factors that might cause such differences include the risks, uncertainties and other factors identified in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These factors include: (1) difficult conditions in the global capital markets; (2) increased volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, which may affect our ability to meet liquidity needs and access capital, including through our credit facilities, generate fee income and market-related revenue and finance statutory reserve requirements and may require us to pledge collateral or make payments related to declines in value of specified assets, including assets supporting risks ceded to certain of our captive reinsurers or hedging arrangements associated with those risks; (3) exposure to financial and capital market risks, including as a result of the disruption in Europe and possible withdrawal of one or more countries from the Euro zone; (4) impact of comprehensive financial services regulation reform on us, as a non-bank systemically important financial institution, or otherwise; (5) numerous rulemaking initiatives required or permitted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which may impact how we conduct our business, including those compelling the liquidation of certain financial institutions; (6) regulatory, legislative or tax changes relating to our insurance, international, or other operations that may affect the cost of, or demand for, our products or services, or increase the cost or administrative burdens of providing benefits to employees; (7) adverse results or other consequences from litigation, arbitration or regulatory investigations; (8) potential liquidity and other risks resulting from our participation in a securities lending program and other transactions; (9) investment losses and defaults, and changes to investment valuations; (10) changes in assumptions related to investment valuations, deferred policy acquisition costs, deferred sales inducements, value of business acquired or goodwill; (11) impairments of goodwill and realized losses or market value impairments to illiquid assets; (12) defaults on our mortgage loans; (13) the defaults or deteriorating credit of other financial institutions that could adversely affect us; (14) economic, political, legal, currency and other risks relating to our international operations, including with respect to fluctuations of exchange rates; (15) downgrades in our claims paying ability, financial strength or credit ratings; (16) a deterioration in the experience of the “closed block” established in connection with the reorganization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; (17) availability and effectiveness of reinsurance or indemnification arrangements, as well as any default or failure of counterparties to perform; (18) differences between actual claims experience and underwriting and reserving assumptions; (19) ineffectiveness of risk management policies and procedures; (20) catastrophe losses; (21) increasing cost and limited market capacity for statutory life insurance reserve financings; (22) heightened competition, including with respect to pricing, entry of new competitors, consolidation of distributors, the development of new products by new and existing competitors, and for personnel; (23) exposure to losses related to variable annuity guarantee benefits, including from significant and sustained downturns or extreme volatility in equity markets, reduced interest rates, unanticipated policyholder behavior, mortality or longevity, and the adjustment for nonperformance risk; (24) our ability to address difficulties, unforeseen liabilities, asset impairments, or rating agency actions arising from business acquisitions and integrating and managing the growth of such acquired businesses, or arising from dispositions of businesses or legal entity reorganizations; (25) regulatory and other restrictions affecting MetLife, Inc.’s ability to pay dividends and repurchase common stock; (26) MetLife, Inc.’s primary reliance, as a holding company, on dividends from its subsidiaries to meet debt payment obligations and the applicable regulatory restrictions on the ability of the subsidiaries to pay such dividends; (27) the possibility that MetLife, Inc.’s Board of Directors may influence the outcome of stockholder votes through the voting provisions of the MetLife Policyholder Trust; (28) changes in accounting standards, practices and/or policies; (29) increased expenses relating to pension and postretirement benefit plans, as well as health care and other employee benefits; (30) inability to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; (31) inability to attract and retain sales representatives; (32) provisions of laws and our incorporation documents may delay, deter or prevent takeovers and corporate combinations involving MetLife; (33) the effects of business disruption or economic contraction due to disasters such as terrorist attacks, cyberattacks, other hostilities, or natural catastrophes, including any related impact on the value of our investment portfolio, our disaster recovery systems, cyber- or other information security systems and management continuity planning; (34) the effectiveness of our programs and practices in avoiding giving our associates incentives to take excessive risks; and (35) other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in MetLife, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

MetLife, Inc. does not undertake any obligation to publicly correct or update any forward-looking statement if MetLife, Inc. later becomes aware that such statement is not likely to be achieved. Please consult any further disclosures MetLife, Inc. makes on related subjects in reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts

MetLife, Inc.
For Media:
John Calagna, (212) 578-6252
or
For Investors:
Edward Spehar, (212) 578-7888

Release Summary

MetLife Announces Third Quarter Non-Cash Charge

Contacts

MetLife, Inc.
For Media:
John Calagna, (212) 578-6252
or
For Investors:
Edward Spehar, (212) 578-7888