The board of MetLife Inc. in February authorized an additional $1 billion common stock repurchase program, which will start after the completion of an earlier $1 billion repurchase program that was announced March 28, 2001.For the fourth quarter, MetLife repurchased about 10.4 million shares at an aggregate cost of about $304 million through the policyholder trust and the company's share-repurchase program.

As of Dec. 31, 2001, MetLife bought back about 71 million shares at a total cost of about $1.9 billion, and had about $277 million remaining on its existing share repurchase program.

MetLife posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $296 million. The loss included a $159 million after-tax charge to cover costs tied to the expected resolution of class-action lawsuits and a related regulatory inquiry pending against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.; and $330 million of charges related to business realignment initiatives.

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