May 2, 2018 / 8:47 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Prudential tops profit estimates on strength in annuities business

(Adds details from statements)

May 2 (Reuters) - Prudential Financial Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday as the insurer earned more fees from its annuities business.

Prudential, the largest U.S. life insurer by assets, earned $1.34 billion, or $3.08 per share, in adjusted operating profit after-tax for the first quarter ended March 31, up from $1.24 billion, or $2.79 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected $2.98 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which has already returned about $760 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, said it sees "strong return prospects" in the future.

Prudential managed $1.4 trillion in assets as of March 31, 2018, compared to $1.3 trillion a year earlier.

Adjusted operating earnings in Prudential's U.S. individual annuities division rose about 10.9 percent to $519 million.

The results cap off a period in which investors and analysts have been trying to navigate how a variety of economic conditions are affecting the U.S. life insurance industry.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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