Fueled by acquisition gains and global expansion, MetLife (MET) said it expects fiscal 2011 operating earnings to surge 38% beyond its 2010 results.

The insurer anticipates earnings in the range of $5.1 billion to $5.5 billion, or $4.75 to $5.15 a share.

“With our leading positions in the U.S. and our expanded global reach resulting from the acquisition of Alico, we are poised to achieve strong results next year and beyond,” said MetLife CEO C. Robert Henrikson.

MetLife purchased Alico, AIG’s (AIG) foreign life insurance business, earlier this year for $15 billion in an effort to expand overseas.

The New York-based company plans on growing premiums, fees and other revenues by 30% next year to the range of $45.8 billion and $47 billion.

This year, MetLife anticipates revenue between $35.6 billion and $36 billion a share, up about 5% from the year-earlier. Operating earnings are expected to be in the range of $4.26 to $4.36 a share, up 62% from the comparable period in 2009.

“We have accomplished a tremendous amount this year, strategically growing our businesses while successfully completing the largest acquisition in this company’s history,” Henrikson said. “All of these achievements lay a solid foundation for future growth, despite the challenging macro-economic environment.”

MetLife sees fiscal 2010 net income of $3.13 to $3.57 a share, up from a loss in 2009 of $2.89 a share.

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