Mercury General Corporation Announces Second Quarter Results and Declares Quarterly Dividend

Aug 1, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercury General Corporation (NYSE: MCY) reported today for the second quarter of 2016:

 

Consolidated Highlights




Three Months Ended
June 30,

Change


Six Months Ended  

June 30,

Change



2016

2015

$

%


2016

2015

$

%


(000's except per-share amounts and ratios)








Net premiums earned

$

779,321


$

731,546


$

47,775


6.5



$

1,546,406


$

1,452,283


$

94,123


6.5


Net premiums written (1)

$

781,668


$

733,548


$

48,120


6.6



$

1,579,334


$

1,474,040


$

105,294


7.1













Net income

$

48,873


$

9,639


$

39,234


407.0



$

72,196


$

35,804


$

36,392


101.6


Net income per diluted share

$

0.88


$

0.17


$

0.71


417.6



$

1.31


$

0.65


$

0.66


101.5













Operating income (1)

$

19,375


$

35,214


$

(15,839)


(45.0)



$

26,411


$

67,854


$

(41,443)


(61.1)


Operating income per diluted share (1)

$

0.35


$

0.64


$

(0.29)


(45.3)



$

0.48


$

1.23


$

(0.75)


(61.0)













Catastrophe losses (2)

$

11,000


$

7,000


$

4,000


57.1



$

19,000


$

10,000


$

9,000


90.0


Combined ratio (3)

101.7%


98.5%




3.2 pts



102.8%


98.8%




4.0 pts

















(1)

These measures are not based on U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and are defined and reconciled to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in "Information Regarding GAAP and Non-GAAP Measures."

(2)

2016 catastrophe losses were primarily the result of severe storms in Texas and in northern California. 2015 catastrophe losses were primarily the result of tornadoes in Oklahoma and severe storms in the Midwest and Texas.

(3)

The Company experienced unfavorable development of approximately $22 million and favorable development of approximately $2 million on prior accident years' losses and loss adjustment expense reserves for the three months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively; and unfavorable development of approximately $62 million and favorable development of approximately $5 million on prior accident years' losses and loss adjustment expense reserves for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  The year-to-date unfavorable development in 2016 was primarily from the re-estimation of losses for California and Florida automobile liability coverages.  Approximately $46 million of the $62 million of unfavorable development in 2016 relates to 2014 and prior accident years.

 

Investment Results










Three Months Ended June 30,


Six Months Ended June 30,


2016

2015


2016

2015

(000's except average annual yield)






Average invested assets at cost (1)

$

3,350,328


$

3,284,994



$

3,339,312


$

3,302,428


Net investment income (2)






     Before income taxes

$

31,414


$

31,697



$

61,069


$

63,203


     After income taxes

$

27,555


$

27,710



$

53,588


$

55,205


Average annual yield on investments - after income taxes (2)

3.3%


3.4%




3.2%


3.3%



(1)

Fixed maturities and short-term bonds at amortized cost; and equities and other short-term investments at cost. Average invested assets at cost are based on the monthly amortized cost of the invested assets for each respective period.

(2)

During the three and six months ended June 30, 2016, net investment income, before and after income taxes, and average annual yields on investments after income taxes decreased slightly due to the maturity and replacement of higher yielding investments purchased when market interest rates were higher, with lower yielding investments purchased during low interest rate environments.

 

In April 2016, the California Department of Insurance approved a 6.9% rate increase on California Automobile Insurance Company's private passenger automobile line of insurance business, which represented approximately 15% of the Company's total net premiums earned in the first half of 2016. This rate increase became effective in June 2016.

The Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.62 per share. The dividend will be paid on September 29, 2016 to shareholders of record on September 15, 2016.

Mercury General Corporation and its subsidiaries are a multiple line insurance organization offering predominantly personal automobile and homeowners insurance through a network of independent producers in many states. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.mercuryinsurance.com. The Company will be hosting a conference call and webcast today at 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time (1:00 P.M. Eastern Time) where management will discuss results and address questions. The teleconference and webcast can be accessed by calling (877) 807-1888 (USA), (706) 679-3827 (International) or by visiting www.mercuryinsurance.com. A replay of the call will be available beginning at 1:30 P.M. Pacific time on August 1, 2016 and running through August 8, 2016. The replay telephone numbers are (855) 859-2056 (USA) or (404) 537-3406 (International). The conference ID# is 46498181. The replay will also be available on the Company's website shortly following the call.

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for certain forward-looking statements. The statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements based on the Company's current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Company will be those anticipated by the Company. Actual results may differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of the Company) and are subject to change based upon various factors, including but not limited to the following risks and uncertainties: changes in the demand for the Company's insurance products, inflation and general economic conditions, including general market risks associated with the Company's investment portfolio; the accuracy and adequacy of the Company's pricing methodologies; catastrophes in the markets served by the Company; uncertainties related to estimates, assumptions and projections generally; the possibility that actual loss experience may vary adversely from the actuarial estimates made to determine the Company's loss reserves in general; the Company's ability to obtain and the timing of the approval of premium rate changes for insurance policies issued in states where the Company operates; legislation adverse to the automobile insurance industry or business generally that may be enacted in the states where the Company operates; the Company's success in managing its business in non-California states; the presence of competitors with greater financial resources and the impact of competitive pricing and marketing efforts; changes in driving patterns and loss trends; acts of war and terrorist activities; court decisions and trends in litigation and health care and auto repair costs and marketing efforts; and legal, regulatory and litigation risks. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new information, future events or otherwise. For a more detailed discussion of some of the foregoing risks and uncertainties, see the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
SUMMARY OF OPERATING RESULTS
(000's except per-share amounts and ratios)
(unaudited)










Three Months Ended June 30,


Six Months Ended June 30,


2016


2015


2016


2015

Revenues:








     Net premium earned

$

779,321



$

731,546



$

1,546,406



$

1,452,283


     Net investment income

31,414



31,697



61,069



63,203


     Net realized investment gains (losses)

45,381



(39,348)



70,438



(49,309)


     Other

1,887



2,276



4,010



4,542


          Total revenues

$

858,003



$

726,171



$

1,681,923



$

1,470,719


Expenses:








     Losses and loss adjustment expenses

$

595,086



$

521,214



$

1,189,168



$

1,035,614


     Policy acquisition costs

139,922



135,140



281,482



268,987


     Other operating expenses

57,700



64,537



118,994



130,229


     Interest

960



769



1,910



1,519


          Total expenses

$

793,668



$

721,660



$

1,591,554



$

1,436,349










Income before income taxes

$

64,335



$

4,511



$

90,369



$

34,370


     Income tax expense (benefit)

15,462



(5,128)



18,173



(1,434)


                    Net income

$

48,873



$

9,639



$

72,196



$

35,804










Basic average shares outstanding

55,254



55,160



55,227



55,149


Diluted average shares outstanding

55,322



55,179



55,294



55,169










Basic Per Share Data








Net income

$

0.88



$

0.17



$

1.31



$

0.65










Net realized investment gains (losses), net of tax

$

0.53



$

(0.47)



$

0.83



$

(0.58)










Diluted Per Share Data








Net income

$

0.88



$

0.17



$

1.31



$

0.65










Net realized investment gains (losses), net of tax

$

0.53



$

(0.47)



$

0.83



$

(0.58)










Operating Ratios-GAAP Basis








Loss ratio

76.4%


71.2%


76.9%


71.3%

Expense ratio

25.4%


27.3%


25.9%


27.5%

Combined ratio(a)

101.7%


98.5%


102.8%


98.8%









(a)

Combined ratio for the June 30, 2016 quarter does not sum due to rounding. 

 

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS AND OTHER INFORMATION

(000's except per-share amounts and ratios)


June 30, 2016


December 31, 2015


(unaudited)



ASSETS




Investments, at fair value:




     Fixed maturity securities (amortized cost $2,823,333; $2,804,275)

$

2,939,494


$

2,880,003

     Equity securities (cost $349,632; $313,528)

367,039


315,362

     Short-term investments (cost $181,729; $185,353)

181,304


185,277

          Total investments

3,487,837


3,380,642

Cash

233,281


264,221

Receivables:




     Premiums

460,077


436,621

     Accrued investment income

42,217


42,747

     Other

23,019


21,925

          Total receivables

525,313


501,293

Deferred policy acquisition costs

203,993


201,762

Fixed assets, net

157,164


157,131

Current income taxes

10,072


9,041

Deferred income taxes

5,234


23,231

Goodwill

42,796


42,796

Other intangible assets, net

28,663


31,702

Other assets

27,695


16,826

          Total assets

$

4,722,048


$

4,628,645





LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY




Losses and loss adjustment expense reserves

$

1,210,793


$

1,146,688

Unearned premiums

1,080,138


1,049,314

Notes payable

290,000


290,000

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

115,561


122,571

Other liabilities

203,528


199,187

Shareholders' equity

1,822,028


1,820,885

          Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

4,722,048


$

4,628,645





OTHER INFORMATION




Common stock shares outstanding

55,254


55,164

Book value per share

$32.98


$33.01

Statutory surplus (a)

$1.42 billion


$1.45 billion

Net premiums written to statutory surplus ratio (a)(b)

2.19


2.07

Debt to total capital ratio (c)

13.7%


13.7%

Portfolio duration (including all short-term instruments)(a)(d)

3.3 years


3.1 years



(a)

Unaudited.

(b)  

For the twelve months ended

(c)  

Debt to Debt plus Shareholders' Equity.

(d)  

Modified durations reflecting anticipated early calls.

 

SUPPLEMENTAL SCHEDULES



(000's except per-share amounts and ratios)

(unaudited)



Three Months Ended June 30,


Six Months Ended June 30,


2016


2015


2016


2015









Reconciliations of Comparable GAAP Measures to Operating Measures(a)











Net premiums earned

$

779,321


$

731,546


$

1,546,406


$

1,452,283

Change in net unearned premiums

2,347


2,002


32,928


21,757

Net premiums written

$

781,668


$

733,548


$

1,579,334


$

1,474,040









Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses

$

595,086


$

521,214


$

1,189,168


$

1,035,614

Change in net loss and loss adjustment expense reserves

(35,816)


(8,567)


(64,303)


(3,213)

Paid losses and loss adjustment expenses

$

559,270


$

512,647


$

1,124,865


$

1,032,401









Net income

$

48,873


$

9,639


$

72,196


$

35,804

Less: Net realized gains (losses)

45,381


(39,348)


70,438


(49,309)

         Tax on net realized gains (losses)(b)

15,883


(13,773)


24,653


(17,259)

             Net realized gains (losses), net of tax

29,498


(25,575)


45,785


(32,050)

Operating income

$

19,375


$

35,214


$

26,411


$

67,854









Per diluted share:








Net income

$

0.88


$

0.17


$

1.31


$

0.65

Less: Net realized gains (losses), net of tax

0.53


(0.47)


0.83


(0.58)

Operating income

$

0.35


$

0.64


$

0.48


1.23









Combined ratio





102.8%


98.8%

Effect of estimated prior periods' loss development





(4.0)%


0.3%

Combined ratio-accident period basis





98.8%


99.1%

















Policies in Force (PIF) as adjusted(c)

Personal Auto


Homeowners


Commercial

 Auto



June 30, 2016

1,167


512


42



March 31, 2016

1,181


507


41



December 31, 2015

1,175


503


41



September 30, 2015

1,184


498


41



June 30, 2015

1,189


494


41



March 31, 2015

1,187


484


41



December 31, 2014

1,183


476


41





(a)

See "Information Regarding GAAP and Non-GAAP Measures" below.

(b)

Federal statutory rate of 35%.

(c)

Minor adjustments were made to previously reported PIF to conform with the current period calculation of PIF.

 

Information Regarding GAAP and Non-GAAP Measures

The Company has presented information within this document containing operating measures which in management's opinion provide investors with useful, industry specific information to help them evaluate, and perform meaningful comparisons of, the Company's performance, but that may not be presented in accordance with GAAP. These measures are not intended to replace, and should be read in conjunction with, the GAAP financial results.

Net income is the GAAP measure that is most directly comparable to operating income. Operating income is net income excluding realized investment gains and losses, net of tax. Operating income is used by management along with the other components of net income to assess the Company's performance. Management uses operating income as an important measure to evaluate the results of the Company's insurance business. Management believes that operating income provides investors with a valuable measure of the Company's ongoing performance as it reveals trends in the Company's insurance business that may be obscured by the effect of net realized capital gains and losses. Realized capital gains and losses may vary significantly between periods and are generally driven by external economic developments such as capital market conditions. Accordingly, operating income highlights the results from ongoing operations and the underlying profitability of the Company's core insurance business. Operating income, which is provided as supplemental information and should not be considered as a substitute for net income, does not reflect the overall profitability of the Company's business. It should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. See "Supplemental Schedules" above for a reconciliation of net income to operating income.

Net premiums earned, the most directly comparable GAAP measure to net premiums written, represents the portion of premiums written that is recognized as revenue in the financial statements for the periods presented and earned on a pro-rata basis over the term of the policies. Net premiums written is a statutory financial measure which represents the premiums charged on policies issued during a fiscal period less any applicable reinsurance.  Net premiums written is designed to determine production levels and is meant as supplemental information and not intended to replace net premiums earned. Such information should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. See "Supplemental Schedules" above for a reconciliation of net premiums earned to net premiums written.

Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses is the most directly comparable GAAP measure to paid losses and loss adjustment expenses.  Paid losses and loss adjustment expenses excludes the effects of changes in the loss reserve accounts. Paid losses and loss adjustment expenses is provided as supplemental information and is not intended to replace incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses. It should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. See "Supplemental Schedules" above for a reconciliation of incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses to paid losses and loss adjustment expenses.

Combined ratio is the most directly comparable measure to combined ratio-accident period basis.  Combined ratio-accident period basis is computed as the difference between two GAAP operating ratios: the combined ratio and prior accident periods' loss development ratio. Management believes that combined ratio-accident period basis is useful to investors and it is used to reveal the trends in the Company's results of operations that may be obscured by development on prior accident periods' loss reserves. Combined ratio-accident period basis is meant as supplemental information and is not intended to replace the GAAP combined ratio. It should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. See "Supplemental Schedules" above for a reconciliation of GAAP combined ratio to combined ratio-accident period basis.

 

Mercury General Corporation logo

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140414/73019

 

SOURCE Mercury General Corporation

For further information: Theodore Stalick, SVP/CFO, (323) 937-1060, www.mercuryinsurance.com


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