VOYA boosted to Buy at BTIG post-earnings

Ongoing business adjusted operating earnings of $307M compares to $296M a year ago. Annualized ROE of 9.9% for the first nine months of 2013 compares to 8.3% for same period in 2012. Long-term target remains 12-13%.

Book value per share excluding AOCI is $41.49.

Closed Block Variable Annuity business posts a $109M after-tax loss (not included in operating earnings). The CBVA hedging program is designed to protect regulatory capital from market movements, rather than minimizing earnings volatility - thus, when markets rise, CBVA will likely post a loss.

Liking the strong operating results and the improvement in CBVA, BTIG's Mark Palmer upgrades VOYA to Buy with price target of $37.

CC at 10 ET.

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