By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- FBL Financial said late Tuesday that fourth-quarter net income jumped 44 percent as the company sold more life insurance, annuities and mutual funds via its Farm Bureau Life and EquiTrust Life divisions.
The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company said net income in the period was $25.4 million, or 87 cents per share, versus $17.6 million or 61 cents a share a year earlier.
Operating profit, which excludes realized investment gains and losses and other items, climbed to $21 million, or 72 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with $17.8 million or 61 cents a share in the quarter last year.
FBL /zigman2/quotes/203813833/composite FFG +3.79% collected $291 million in premiums, up from $268 million in the final quarter of 2003.
The company's EquiTrust Life independent sales unit accounted for almost half of the premiums pulled in during the fourth quarter.
Premiums generated by the Farm Bureau Life division increased 5 percent to $119 million in the quarter, FBL said.