MetLife (NYSE: MET) is planning, among other things, to increase sales in emerging markets. The New York-based insurer is looking to increase sales in emerging markets to approximately 20%. It has stated that the opportunity to earn higher returns is greater in emerging markets. It expects this plan to leverage its global footprint and capitalize on trends and opportunities in key markets. This is a great plan for MetLife. It wishes to continue this growth pattern until 2015, increasing sales in emerging markets 20% each year. That is a sensible plan. Not too fast, but not slow enough to miss out on the opportunities either.
MetLife is fundamentally a strong company. It currently insures 90 million customers in over 50 countries. It provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs. A little over a year ago MetLife purchased American Life Insurance Company, bringing together two well-established international businesses with track records of growth. MetLife is no stranger to growth and expansion. It has been continuously growing into a globally recognized brand. Increasing sales in emerging markets will only strengthen this resolve.
Some investors do refer to emerging markets as a trend that is on its way out. That is not so. As the current base of emerging markets grows, others will move into place to fill the gaps. There will always exist a need for investors and companies to enter emerging markets. That is how markets and economies grow. Emerging markets by definition are those nations experiencing rapid growth and industrialization. They are ready to grow. And we must be ready to take advantage of those markets.
The insurer is obviously trying to reverse its recent slump. MetLife recently posted a Q1 2012 loss of $174 million. But the news is not all bad for MetLife. Its operating results beat expectations and the strongest growth came in Asia and Latin America. Now it is making strides to capitalize on that growth. Also, it is rumored that MetLife is one of the companies that submitted first-round bids for ING Groep N.V.(ING). MetLife is obviously making the necessary moves to expand upon its growth and increase its business as a whole. MetLife is a promising company.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.