MetLife Inc's fourth quarter earnings narrowly beat Wall Street expectations on Tuesday, as the credit market recovery helped the biggest U.S. life insurer increase market share and boost revenues.

MetLife's quarterly operating profit, the figure closely watched by analysts, was five times higher than last year, at $793 million, or 96 cents per share.

Analysts on average expected operating earnings of 95 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. MetLife in December had said it expected operating earnings of between 90 cents and 95 cents per share.

Operating revenues rose 13 percent to $13.32 billion.

Including one-time investment gains and losses, New York-based MetLife's earnings fell to $289 million, or 35 cents per share, from $954 million, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier.

The company's fourth quarter profit follows three straight quarterly losses.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; editing by Carol Bishopric)