Prudential Financial beats estimates on life, annuity strength

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Aug 3 (Reuters) - Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N) beat analysts' estimates for quarterly adjusted profit on Tuesday, as strong performance at the U.S. insurer's life and annuity units cushioned against weakness in its investment business.

PGIM, Prudential's global investment management business, reported a 2.8% fall in adjusted operating income to $315 million in the second quarter ended June 30, while assets under management rose 8% to a record of $1.5 trillion.

The company's U.S. individual life insurance segment posted an adjusted operating profit of $146 million, compared with a loss of $64 million a year earlier.

Adjusted operating income at its annuity segment soared nearly 90% to $472 million. An annuity is a long-term insurance contract which allows consumers to generate a steady income during retirement.

Global life insurers are taking steps to curb payouts stemming from the health crisis and have been helped by a fall in dental and other non-medical health claims.

Total after-tax adjusted operating income rose to $1.51 billion, or $3.79 per share, from $740 million, or $1.85 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $3.11 per share, according to data from Refinitiv.

Prudential also said it now expects to return a total of $11billion to shareholders through 2023, up from the $10.5 billion announced in May.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by xxxx

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