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In the news: MetLife expands in South America, earnings from Exxon, Mattel and Merck and an animal health IPO

Headlines this morning include MetLife acquiring a South American pension firm, an IPO for an animal-health company, Clearwire is still trying to decide between Sprint and Dish, and earnings from Exxon Mobil and Merck.

Insurer MetLife (MET) will pay about $2 billion to acquire the largest private pension fund administrator in Chile. MetLife will conduct a public cash tender offer for all the shares of AFP Provide SA. BBVA has agreed to transfer its 64% stake in the company to MetLife as part of the deal. The acquisition includes a small asset management business in Ecuador. MetLife is shifting toward less capital intensive products and trying to broaden its exposure to emerging markets. The deal will be paid for using existing cash and will add 5 cents per share to operating earnings in 2013 and 15 cents in 2014.

Zoetis, the animal health business of Pfizer (PFE) is set begin life as a public company after a $2.2 billion initial public offering of 86.1 million shares. The company is set to begin trading on Friday under the ticker ZTS. The offering priced at $26, $1 above the high-end of its estimated range. Proceeds from the offering will go to Pfizer, which is retaining an 83% ownership stake.

Clearwire (CLWR) is still evaluating an acquisition offer from Dish Network (DISH), but is still recommending an offer from Sprint it agreed to in December. The company said Friday it would not draw on an $80 million credit line from Sprint that was part of the deal. Dish has said it would withdraw its offer if the company tapped Sprints funding.

Mattel (MAT) reported adjusted net income of $1.12 per share, which was short of estimates for $1.02. Sales were $2.26 billion, which missed estimates for $2.29 billion. The company said Barbie sales fell by 4%, while the unit that sells movie-themed items fell 13%.

Exxon Mobil
Oil giant Exxon Mobile (XOM) reported earnings of $2.20 per share on revenue of $115.17 billion. Analysts had expected $1.99 per share on $115.22 billion in revenue. Output from the company's well fell by 5.2% during the period, but refining margins rose by 46%. The company declared a dividend of 57 cents payable on March 11.

Drug-maker Merck (MRK) reported earnings of 46 cents per share, or 83 cents per share on an adjusted basis, for its fourth quarter. Analysts had expected 81 cents per share. Sales were $11.74 billion, compared to estimates for $11.48 billion. Earnings for 2013 were expected to be $3.60 to $3.70 per share on an adjusted basis. Analysts had been forecasting $3.68 per share.

Bobby Raines

Bobby Raines is the Managing Editor of the Market Intelligence Center. He has degrees in Mass Communications and History from Emory & Henry College. Bobby worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper before making a switch to covering the financial industry full time in the years leading up to the financial crisis. He has been a member of the Fresh Brewed Media team since 2011 and has served as a writer and analyst. You can write to him at braines@marketintelligencecenter.com or follow him on Twitter: @BRatMICenter.