UPDATE 2-RGA Q4 oper profit tops Street; hikes dividend

* Q4 oper EPS $1.70 vs est $1.58

* Sees 2010 oper EPS $6.30-$6.90 vs est $6.78

* Raises dividend 33 pct

* Stock edges up marginally post-market
(Adds CEO quote, details on outlook)

Feb 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Reinsurance Group of America Inc (RGA.N: )
posted a quarterly profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates,
aided in part by a 15 percent jump in reported net premiums,
and raised its quarterly dividend 33 percent.

The life reinsurer, which raised quarterly dividend to 12
cents a share, earned $112.4 million, or $1.52 a share for the
fourth quarter. It posted a profit of $9.4 million, or 14 cents
a share, a year ago.

Operating profit — the favorite measure of insurance
analysts as it excludes investment losses and gains — was
$1.70 a share.

Analysts on average were looking for a profit of $1.58 a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reported net premiums for the period rose 15 percent to
$1.60 billion.

“While higher-than-expected claim levels in the U.S.
hampered results somewhat, our other operating segments
performed very well,” Chief Executive Greig Woodring said in a
statement.

Assuming an expected level of death claims, the company
expects to earn $6.30 to $6.90 per share in 2010. Analysts were
looking for $6.78 a share.

The company expects a modestly lower investment yield in
2010 as it repositions its portfolio, and sees consolidated net
premiums rising about 15 percent, including the impact of a
recent acquisition.

Earlier this month, Reinsurance Group finalized the
acquisition of the U.S. and Canadian group life, accident and
health reinsurance business from a subsidiary of Dutch
financial services group ING Group NV (ING.AS: ).

Shares of the Chesterfield, Missouri-based company were up
marginally at $49.25 after the bell. They closed at $49.12
Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have more
than doubled after hitting a 52-week low of $21.27 last March.

Stock Report

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Anne
Pallivathuckal and Gopakumar Warrier)

UPDATE 2-RGA Q4 oper profit tops Street; hikes dividend