Brighthouse uses financial instruments called derivatives to limit life insurance and annuity investment risk. Many accounting experts say that financial services companies that use derivatives should include changes in the value of the derivatives in the ultimate measure of how the companies are doing: their net income.

Brighthouse adds changes in the value of its derivatives to its net income every quarter.

The result: Brighthouse investors are now focusing mainly on adjusted revenue and income figures that leave out of the effects of short-term changes in the value of the derivatives.

Brighthouse controls individual life and annuity operations that were once part of MetLife Inc. MetLife spun Brighthouse off as a separate company in 2017.