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Pru Lists Earnings, Says It's Open to Acquisitions

Source: Wall St. Journal

Posted on 12 Feb 2010

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According to John Strangfeld, chief executive of Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU), the company is open to making acquisitions although it is doing well with organic growth.

The two primary areas "that attract us" in terms of acquisitions would be to make an international buy or to expand in the retirement segment in the U.S., said Strangfeld.

Strangfeld said he felt good about the opportunity to make significant market-share gains through organic growth and was "intrigued by outside" opportunities to make acquisitions.

"There are a number of well-publicized franchises in flux," he said, though he said he can't predict the likelihood of making an acquisition or when and how it would happen.

Prudential is one of the largest life insurers in the U.S., and also operates an international subsidiary.

Prudential is still seeing "challenging" conditions in the commercial real estate market, which is continuing to have a negative impact on the results of Prudential's asset management business, said Richard J. Carbone, Prudential's chief financial officer, during the call. He added that he was starting to see "signs of improvement" there.

In the latest quarter, Prudential's financial-services business reported a profit of $1.79 billion, or $3.79 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $1.66 billion, or $3.89 a share.

Operating earnings, which exclude investment gains and losses and other items, amounted to $1.07 a share, from a year-earlier loss of $2.04.

Shares of Prudential were down 1.31% recently to $48.24.