Mercury General Corporation Announces Fourth Quarter Results and Declares Quarterly Dividend PR Newswire LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2013 LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercury General Corporation (NYSE: MCY) reported today for the fourth quarter of 2012: Consolidated Highlights Three Months Ended Change Twelve Months Ended Change December 31, December 31, 2012 2011 $ % 2012 2011 $ % (000's except per-share amounts and ratios) Net premiums $ 654,931 $ 618,593 $ 36,338 5.9 $ 2,651,731 $ 2,575,383 $ 76,348 3.0 written (1) Net (loss) $ (17,382) $ 79,469 $ (96,851) NM $ 116,911 $ 191,164 $ (74,253) (38.8) income Net (loss) income per $ (0.32) $ 1.45 $ (1.77) NM $ 2.13 $ 3.49 $ (1.36) (39.0) diluted share (2) Operating (loss) $ (9,403) $ 32,109 $ (41,512) NM $ 73,764 $ 153,206 $ (79,442) (51.9) income (1) Operating (loss) income per $ (0.17) $ 0.59 $ (0.76) NM $ 1.34 $ 2.79 $ (1.45) (52.0) diluted share (1) Catastrophe $ 28,000 $ 10,000 $ 18,000 180.0 $ 39,000 $ 18,000 $ 21,000 116.7 losses (3) Combined 109.8 % 99.4 % — 10.4 102.8 % 98.5 % — 4.3 pts ratio (4) pts NM = Not meaningful These measures are not based on U.S. generally accepted accounting (1) principles ("GAAP") and are defined and reconciled to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in "Information Regarding Non-GAAP Measures." (2) The dilutive impact of incremental shares is excluded from loss positions in accordance with GAAP. 2012 catastrophe losses were primarily the result of wind and hail storms in the Midwest region in the second quarter and Hurricane Sandy in the (3) fourth quarter; 2011 catastrophe losses were mainly the result of Hurricane Irene in the third quarter and severe windstorms in California in the fourth quarter. The amounts are rounded to the nearest million. The Company experienced unfavorable development of approximately $9 million and $7 million on prior accident years' losses and loss adjustment expenses reserves for the three months ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively; and approximately $42 million and $18 million on prior (4) accident years' losses and loss adjustment expenses reserves for the year ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. The year-to-date unfavorable development for the twelve months ended December 31, 2012 is largely the result of re-estimates of California bodily injury losses which have experienced higher average severities and more late reported claims (claim count development) than estimated at December 31, 2011. Investment Results Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended December 31, December 31, 2012 2011 2012 2011 (000's except average annual yield) Average invested $ 3,040,026 $ 2,984,386 $ 3,011,143 $ 3,004,588 assets at cost ^(1) Net investment income ^(2) Before income taxes $ 35,327 $ 34,316 $ 131,896 $ 140,947 After income taxes $ 30,450 $ 30,225 $ 115,359 $ 124,708 Average annual yield on investments - 4.0 % 4.1 % 3.8 % 4.2 % after income taxes ^(2) Fixed maturities and short-term bonds at amortized cost and equities and (1) other short-term investments at cost. Average invested assets at cost is based on the monthly amortized cost of the invested assets for each respective period. Net investment income and average annual yield for the twelve months ended December 31, 2012 decreased primarily due to the maturity and replacement (2) of higher yielding investments, purchased when market interest rates were higher, with lower yielding investments purchased during the current low interest rate environment. Mercury CEO and President Gabe Tirador commented on the quarterly results: "The fourth quarter was adversely impacted by $28 million of catastrophe losses from Hurricane Sandy, high seasonal loss frequency and increased loss severity in California, and adverse reserve development of $9 million. Hurricane Sandy losses came predominantly from the homeowners business in New York; however, auto losses in New Jersey and New York also accounted for approximately $6 million of the total Hurricane Sandy losses. The Company has historically experienced high California loss frequency in the fourth quarter due to severe weather and increased driving. Fourth quarter frequency in 2012 was worse than most previous years. During the quarter, the Company made progress in many operational areas. Operations outside of California continued to improve and, excluding the losses from Hurricane Sandy, posted a combined ratio under 100%. Premium growth improved to 5.9%, its highest level since the first quarter of 2006. Recent premium growth was driven primarily by the California personal automobile line of business which had a 24% increase in new policy sales compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 4% rate increase that was implemented on October 26, 2012. On January 22, 2013, the Company implemented a plan to consolidate its operations outside of California into hubs located in Florida, New Jersey, and Texas. Management expects the consolidation to be complete before the end of the second quarter. Our office based claims and underwriting operations outside of California will be performed in these hubs. We believe that the hub structure will lead to improved efficiencies and better position the Company for future growth. As a result of the plan, the Company will incur pre-tax restructuring charges of approximately $8 million to $13 million in the first quarter of 2013 and expects annual recurring pre-tax savings of approximately $13 million." The Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.6125 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 28, 2013 to shareholders of record on March 14, 2013. 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 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 and running through February 11, 2013. The replay telephone numbers are (855) 859-2056 (USA) or (404) 537-3406 (International). The conference ID# is 88026983. 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 the impact of current economic conditions on the Company's market and investment portfolio; the accuracy and adequacy of the Company's pricing methodologies; adverse weather conditions or natural disasters in the markets served by the Company; general market risks associated with the Company's investment portfolio; 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 states outside of California; 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 December Twelve Months Ended December 31, 31, 2012 2011 2012 2011 Net premiums written $ 654,931 $ 618,593 $ 2,651,731 $ 2,575,383 Revenues: Net premium earned $ 655,777 $ 641,613 $ 2,574,920 $ 2,566,057 Net investment 35,327 34,316 131,896 140,947 income Net realized investment (losses) (12,276) 72,862 66,380 58,397 gains Other 2,384 663 10,174 11,884 Total revenues $ 681,212 $ 749,454 $ 2,783,370 $ 2,777,285 Expenses: Losses and loss 546,352 472,876 1,961,448 1,829,205 adjustment expenses Policy acquisition 120,726 116,072 477,788 481,721 costs Other operating 52,928 48,914 207,281 215,711 expenses Interest 367 899 1,543 5,549 Total expenses $ 720,373 $ 638,761 $ 2,648,060 $ 2,532,186 (Loss) income before (39,161) 110,693 135,310 245,099 income taxes Income tax (21,779) 31,224 18,399 53,935 (benefit) expense Net $ (17,382) $ 79,469 $ 116,911 $ 191,164 (loss) income Basic average shares 54,914 54,845 54,899 54,825 outstanding Diluted average shares outstanding ^ 54,914 54,873 54,922 54,845 (a) Basic Per Share Data Net (loss) income $ (0.32) $ 1.45 $ 2.13 $ 3.49 Net realized investment (losses) $ (0.15) $ 0.86 $ 0.79 $ 0.69 gains, net of tax Diluted Per Share Data ^(a) Net (loss) income $ (0.32) $ 1.45 $ 2.13 $ 3.49 Net realized investment (losses) $ (0.15) $ 0.86 $ 0.79 $ 0.69 gains, net of tax Operating Ratios-GAAP Basis Loss ratio 83.3 % 73.7 % 76.2 % 71.3 % Expense ratio 26.5 % 25.7 % 26.6 % 27.2 % Combined ratio 109.8 % 99.4 % 102.8 % 98.5 % Reconciliations of Operating Measures to Comparable GAAP Measures Net premiums written $ 654,931 $ 618,593 $ 2,651,731 $ 2,575,383 Change in net 846 23,020 (76,811) (9,326) unearned premiums Net premiums earned $ 655,777 $ 641,613 $ 2,574,920 $ 2,566,057 Paid losses and loss $ 493,760 $ 467,581 $ 1,914,838 $ 1,879,247 adjustment expenses Change in net loss and loss adjustment 52,592 5,295 46,610 (50,042) expense reserves Incurred losses and loss adjustment $ 546,352 $ 472,876 $ 1,961,448 $ 1,829,205 expenses (a) The dilutive impact of incremental shares is excluded from loss position in accordance with GAAP. MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS AND OTHER INFORMATION (000's except per-share amounts and ratios) December31, 2012 December31, 2011 (unaudited) ASSETS Investments, at fair value: Fixed maturity securities (amortized $ 2,408,354 $ 2,445,589 cost $2,270,903; $2,345,620) Equity securities (cost $475,959; 477,088 380,388 $388,417) Short-term investments (cost 294,653 236,444 $294,607; $236,433) Total investments 3,180,095 3,062,421 Cash 158,183 211,393 Receivables: Premiums 345,387 288,799 Accrued investment income 31,109 32,541 Other 17,756 11,320 Total receivables 394,252 332,660 Deferred policy acquisition costs 185,910 171,430 Fixed assets, net 161,940 177,760 Current income taxes 7,058 0 Deferred income taxes 0 6,511 Goodwill 42,796 42,850 Other intangible assets, net 47,589 53,749 Other assets 11,863 11,232 Total assets $ 4,189,686 $ 4,070,006 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY Losses and loss adjustment expenses $ 1,036,123 $ 985,279 Unearned premiums 920,429 843,427 Notes payable 140,000 140,000 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 96,220 94,743 Current income taxes 0 67 Deferred income taxes 445 0 Other liabilities 153,972 149,007 Shareholders' equity 1,842,497 1,857,483 Total liabilities and shareholders' $ 4,189,686 $ 4,070,006 equity OTHER INFORMATION Common stock shares outstanding 54,922 54,856 Book value per share $33.55 $33.86 Estimated statutory surplus $1.44 billion $1.50 billion Estimated premiums written to surplus 1.8 1.7 ratio Debt to total capital ratio 7.1 % 7.0 % Portfolio duration (including all 2.8 years 3.3 years short-term instruments)^(a) Policies-in-force (company-wide "PIF")^(a) Personal Auto PIF 1,249 1,236 Homeowners PIF 442 394 (a) Unaudited. Information Regarding 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. Operating income is net income excluding realized investment gains and losses, net of tax. Net income is the GAAP measure that is most directly comparable to operating income. 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 our business. It should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. The Company has reconciled operating income with the most directly comparable GAAP measure in the table below. Three Months Ended December 31, Twelve Months Ended December 31, Total Per diluted share Total Per diluted share 2012 2011 2012 ^(b) 2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 ^(a) (000's except per-share amounts) Operating (loss) $ (9,403) $ 32,109 $ (0.17) $ 0.59 $ 73,764 $ 153,206 $ 1.34 $ 2.79 income Net realized investment (7,979) 47,360 (0.15) 0.86 43,147 37,958 0.79 0.69 (losses) gains, net of tax Net (loss) $ (17,382) $ 79,469 $ (0.32) $ 1.45 $ 116,911 $ 191,164 $ 2.13 $ 3.49 income (a) Net income per diluted share does not sum due to rounding. (b) The dilutive impact of incremental shares is excluded from loss positions in accordance with GAAP. Net premiums written represents the premiums charged on policies issued during a fiscal period. Net premiums earned, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, represents the portion of premiums written that have been recognized as income in the financial statements for the periods presented as earned on a pro-rata basis over the term of the policies. Net premiums written are meant as supplemental information and are not intended to replace net premiums earned. Such information should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. The Company has reconciled net premiums written with the most directly comparable GAAP measure in the supplemental schedule entitled, "Summary of Operating Results." Paid losses and loss adjustment expenses is the portion of incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, excluding 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. The Company has reconciled paid losses and loss adjustment expenses with the most directly comparable GAAP measure in the supplemental schedule entitled, "Summary of Operating Results." Combined ratio-accident period basis is computed as the difference between two GAAP operating ratios: the combined ratio and the effect of prior accident periods' loss development. The most directly comparable GAAP measure is the combined ratio. The Company believes that this ratio is useful to investors and it is used by management 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 combined ratio. It should be read in conjunction with the GAAP financial results. The Company has reconciled combined ratio-accident period basis with the most directly comparable GAAP measure in the table below. Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2012 2011 Combined ratio-accident period basis 101.2 % 97.8 % Effect of estimated prior periods' loss 1.6 % 0.7 % development Combined ratio 102.8 % 98.5 % SOURCE Mercury General Corporation Website: http://www.mercuryinsurance.com Contact: Theodore Stalick, VP/CFO, +1-323-937-1060, www.mercuryinsurance.com
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Mercury General Corporation Announces Fourth Quarter Results and Declares Quarterly Dividend
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