Reinsurance Group Drops on Australia Claims Costs

Reinsurance Group of America Inc., the reinsurer formerly owned by MetLife Inc. (MET), plunged to a two- month low after claims costs in Australia weighed on third- quarter results.

Reinsurance Group fell 9.9 percent to $54.06 at 12:33 p.m. in New York, the lowest intraday since Aug. 2. The shares have gained 3.5 percent this year.

Elevated life insurance and disability claims in Australia pressured results, the Chesterfield, Missouri-based firm said yesterday in a statement. Operating income in the third quarter fell to $99.9 million from $138.8 million a year earlier, the company said.

“Our operating earnings were depressed this quarter, primarily as a result of high claims in the U.S. and Australia,” Chief Executive Officer A. Greig Woodring said in the statement. “In Australia, adverse individual mortality and disability claims contributed to a poor quarter.”

Reinsurance Group reported a pretax operating loss of $20.7 million in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Australia. That compares with pretax operating income of $27.3 million a year earlier.

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