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AEGON Misses 4th Quarter Earnings Projection

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - AEGON, the Netherlands-based corporate parent of Transamerica in Cedar Rapids, on Friday reported sharply lower fourth-quarter net income that fell short of analysts' projections.

For the quarter that ended Dec. 31, AEGON posted net income of $106.6 million, down 75 percent from $418.8 million in the same quarter of 2010. Analysts polled by Reuters had been expecting net income of about $231 million.

AEGON recorded revenues or total deposits of $9.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, down 9 percent from $10.3 billion in the final quarter of 2010.

AEGON said its net earnings were negatively affected by restructuring charges, lower income from investments due to lower interest rates, and a charge of $90 million for residential mortgage-backed securities in the United States.

AEGON took steps in 2011 to plans to increase earnings from fee-based businesses and move away from spread-based income products that are subject to interest rate risk.

For all of 2011, AEGON saw its net income fall 30 percent to $1.1 billion from $2.3 billion in 2010. Revenues or total deposits slipped 3 percent to $41.7 billion from $42.9 billion in 2010.

In a conference call with reporters, AEGON Chief Executive Officer Alex Wynaendts said he expected the euro zone crisis to impact the economy and financial markets.

"Probably the bottom of euro crisis is behind us. That is not surprising because effectively a lot of measures have been taken," Wynaendts said. "The question for me is what impact that will have on economies.

"Economic developments in Europe are going to be affected by the euro crisis. We still have to see that impact."

AEGON common shares rose 27 cents, or 5.42 percent, to $5.25 per share Friday in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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