American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. on Wednesday reported fourth quarter 2013 net income of $51 million, or 64 cents per share, compared with year-earlier net income of $36.4 million, or 55 cents per share. The West Des Moines-based annuity underwriter sold $1.09 billion in annuities in the fourth quarter, up from $1.05 billion in sales in the third quarter. "2013 was a year during which we delivered 14 percent growth in assets under management, sustained a double-digit return on average equity, and increased the cushion to our targeted regulatory capital ratio," said David Noble, founder and executive chairman, in a release. "Importantly for both our policyholders and shareholders, we achieved this success while conservatively managing our risks and financial profile."