American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., a leading issuer of fixed index annuities based in West Des Moines, reported a first-quarter 2019 net loss of $30 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with net income of $141 million, or $1.55 per diluted common share, for first-quarter 2018. Non-GAAP operating income for the quarter was $89.4 million, compared with $77.7 million a year ago. Policyholder funds under management at March 31 were $51.6 billion, a $551 million or 1.1% increase from Dec. 31. First-quarter sales were $1.2 billion, with net sales up 26% from the prior-year first quarter. Regarding the market environment and the outlook for fixed index annuity sales, “The market in each of our distribution channels continues to be challenging,” CEO John Matovina said in a release. “However, we remain pleased with our competitive positioning for both accumulation and guaranteed lifetime income products.”