AMERISAFE Announces 2013 Third Quarter Results

AMERISAFE Announces 2013 Third Quarter Results

Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend

DERIDDER, La., Oct. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AMERISAFE, Inc.
(Nasdaq:AMSF), a specialty provider of hazardous workers' compensation
insurance, today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30,
2013.

Summary of Results (dollars in thousands, except per share data)
                       Three Months Ended         Nine Months Ended 
                       September 30,              September 30,     
                       2013      2012     % Change 2013     2012     % Change
                                                                
Net premiums earned    $81,596   $72,425  12.7%    $243,288 $211,948 14.80%
Net investment income  6,947     6,801    2.1%     $20,266  20,320   (0.3%)
Net realized gains      (654)     985      NM       (1,921)  2,913    NM
(losses) on investments
Net income             9,699     7,121    36.2%    26,194   20,127   30.1%
Diluted earnings per    0.52      0.38     36.8%    1.39     1.08     28.7%
share
Operating net income   10,124    6,481    56.2%    27,443   18,234   50.5%
Operating earnings per  0.54      0.35     54.3%    1.47     0.98     50.0%
share
Book value per share   21.67     20.46    5.9%     21.67    20.46    5.9%
Net combined ratio     92.5%     98.5%            93.6%    99.4%    
Return on average       9.8%      7.7%             8.9%     7.4%     
equity

Commenting on these results, Allen Bradley, AMERISAFE's Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, stated, "In line with our expectations, evidence of
stressed balance sheets and a more challenging workers' compensation
marketplace due to the weak pricing environment of prior years is beginning to
surface. For us, the evidence represents an opportunity to expand our margins,
our book of business and long term profitability for shareholders. We believe
third quarter results reflect these attributes. With our focus on risk
selection and pricing, AMERISAFE remains well positioned in a business that
requires disciplined growth. As such, we remain confident in our ability to
deliver attractive returns to our shareholders."

Insurance Results (in thousands)
                           Three Months Ended       Nine Months Ended 
                           September 30,      %      September 30,     %
                           2013      2012     Change 2013     2012     Change
                                                                  
Gross Premium Written       $86,137   $77,283  11.5%  $281,075 $247,683 13.5%
Net Premium Earned          81,596    72,425   12.7%  243,288  211,948  14.8%
Loss & LAE                  57,046    53,851   5.9%   169,860  162,414  4.6%
Underwriting & Other       18,472    16,495   12.0%  57,012   46,557   22.5%
Policyholder dividends     38        945      NM     980      1,659    NM
Underwriting profit         6,040     1,134    NM     15,436   1,318    NM
(pre-tax)
                                                                  
Insurance Ratios:                                                  
Current accident year loss  73.2%     76.5%          73.2%    76.5%    
ratio
Prior accident year loss    (3.3%)    (2.1%)         (3.4%)   0.1%     
ratio
Net loss ratio             69.9%     74.4%          69.8%    76.6%    
Net underwriting expense    22.6%     22.8%          23.4%    22.0%    
ratio
Net dividend ratio         0.0%      1.3%           0.4%     0.8%     
Net combined ratio         92.5%     98.5%          93.6%    99.4%    

  *Gross premiums written continued to grow in the third quarter.Voluntary
    premiums written increased 14.3% in the quarter and 14.4% for the nine
    months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same periods in 2012.
    Additionally, payroll audits and related premium adjustments for policies
    written in previous periods increased premiums $0.7 million in the third
    quarter and $10.4 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013.In
    2012, these premium adjustments grew premium $3.1 million in the third
    quarter and $13.0 million for the nine months ended September 30.
    
  *The current accident year loss ratio for the third quarter remained at
    73.2%.During the quarter, the Company experienced favorable loss
    development, which reduced loss and loss adjustment expenses by $2.7
    million, primarily attributable to accident years 2009 and prior.
    
  *For the third quarter, the underwriting expense ratio declined to 22.6%
    from 22.8% a year ago primarily driven by the growth in premium
    earned.For the nine months, the expense ratio rose to 23.4% compared to
    22.0% for the same time period in 2012.The increase in the underwriting
    expense ratio during the nine-month period mainly resulted from higher
    premium taxes and premium based assessments.
    
  *The effective tax rate for the three and nine months ended September 30,
    2013 was 22.1% and 23.4% compared to 20.9% and 17.7%, respectively, for
    the year ago periods.The increase resulted from a lower ratio of tax-free
    investment income to pre-tax income in 2013 compared to 2012.

President and Chief Operating Officer, Janelle Frost noted, "The combined
ratio this quarter reflects our continued underwriting discipline and prudent
approach to the market. Loss and loss adjustment expenses benefited from
favorable development of prior accident years, and the current accident year
ratio remained consistent with the first half of the year as frequency trends
remained positive. Pricing also increased quarter over quarter which spurred
top line growth of 11.5% percent.In addition, our expense ratio decreased in
part due to management of operating costs at lower levels than growth in
earned premium.In all, we are pleased with the operating results this
quarter.

Investment Results (in thousands)
                                                                
                       Three Months Ended         Nine Months Ended 
                       September 30,              September 30,     
                       2013      2012     % Change 2013     2012     % Change
                                                                
Net investment income  $6,947    $6,801   2.2%     $20,266  $20,320  (0.3%)
Net realized gains
(losses) on investments (654)     985      NM       (1,921)  2,913    NM
(pre-tax)
Pre-tax investment      2.9%      3.1%             2.9%     3.1%     
yield
Tax equivalent yield    3.9%      4.5%             3.9%     4.5%     
(1)
                                                                
(1) The tax equivalent yield is calculated using the effective interest rate
and a 35% marginal tax rate.

  *As of September 30, 2013, the carrying value of AMERISAFE's investment
    portfolio, including cash and cash equivalents, was $978.3 million and the
    fair value of the portfolio was $1.0 billion.

Capital Management

  *The Company paid its third consecutive quarterly dividend of $0.08 per
    share on September 27^th, 2013.On October 28^th, the Company's Board of
    Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per share, payable
    on December 27^th, 2013 to shareholders of record as of December 13^th,
    2013.
  *During the quarter, no shares were repurchased under the share repurchase
    plan.Since beginning this plan, the Company repurchased a total of
    1,258,250 shares for $22.4 million, or an average per share price of
    $17.78.On October 28^th, the Company's Board of Directors voted to extend
    the current authorization from December 31, 2013 to December 31, 2014 and
    increase the authorization from $24.4 million to $25.0 million.

Supplemental Information
                                                              
                          Three Months Ended        Nine Months Ended
                          September 30,             September 30,
                          2013         2012         2013         2012
                                                              
Net income                $9,699       $7,121       $26,194      $20,127
Less: Net realized capital (654)        985          (1,921)      2,913
gains (loss)
Tax effect (1)            229          (345)        672          (1,020)
Operating net income (2)  10,124       6,481        27,443       18,234
                                                              
Avg shareholders' equity   $396,614     $367,794     $390,967     $360,788
(3)
Less: AvgOCI              (2,149)      3,390        154          3,165
                                                              
Adjusted average           398,763     364,404     390,813     357,623
shareholders' equity
                                                              
Diluted weighted average   18,758,346   18,580,083   18,730,729   18,583,079
common shares
Diluted earnings per       $0.52        $0.38        $1.39        $1.08
common share
Operating earnings per     $0.54        $0.35        $1.47        $0.98
common share (2)
                                                              
Return on average equity   9.8%         7.7%         8.9%         7.4%
(4)
Operating return on        10.2%        7.1%         9.4%         6.8%
average equity (2)
(in thousands, except                                          
share and per share data)
                                                              
(1) The tax effect of net realized capital gains is calculated assuming an
annual tax rate of 35%.
                                                              
(2) Operating net income, operating return on average equity and operating
earnings per share are non-GAAP financial measures. Management believes
investor's understanding of core operating performance is enhanced by
AMERISAFE's disclosure of these financial measures.
                                                              
(3) Average shareholders' equity is calculated by taking the average of the
beginning and ending adjusted shareholders' equity.
                                                              
(4)Return on average equity is calculated by dividing the annualized net
incomeby the average shareholders' equity.

Conference Call Information

AMERISAFE has scheduled a conference call for November 1, 2013, at 10:30 a.m.
Eastern Time to discuss the results for the quarter and the outlook for future
periods.To participate in the conference call dial 720-545-0027 at least 10
minutes before the call begins and ask for the AMERISAFE conference call.A
replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the live
broadcast ends and will be accessible through November 8, 2013.To access the
replay, dial 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406 and use the conference ID 77177695.

Investors, analysts and the general public will also have the opportunity to
listen to the conference call over the Internet by visiting
http://www.amerisafe.com.To listen to the live call on the web, please visit
the website at least fifteen minutes before the call begins to register,
download and install any necessary audio software.For those who cannot listen
to the live webcast, an archive will be available shortly after the call and
will remain available for approximately 60 days at http://www.amerisafe.com.

About AMERISAFE

AMERISAFE, Inc. is a specialty provider of workers' compensation insurance
focused on small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries,
principally construction, trucking, manufacturing and agriculture among
others.AMERISAFE actively markets workers' compensation insurance in 30
states and the District of Columbia.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including
statements accompanied by words such as "will," "believe," "anticipate,"
"expect," "estimate," or similar words are forward-looking statements within
the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding
AMERISAFE's plans and performance.These statements are based on management's
estimates, assumptions and projections as of the date of this release and are
not guarantees of future performance and include statements regarding
management's views and expectations of the workers' compensation market, the
Company's growth opportunities, underwriting margins and actions by
competitors.Actual results may differ materially from the results expressed
or implied in these statements as the results of risks, uncertainties and
other factors including the factors set forth in the Company's filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission, including AMERISAFE's Annual Report on
Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.AMERISAFE cautions you not to
place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this
release.AMERISAFE does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or
revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or
circumstances that arise after the date of this release.

AMERISAFE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income
(in thousands)
                                                                  
                                     Three Months Ended  Nine Months Ended
                                     September 30,       September 30,
                                     2013        2012    2013        2012
                                     (unaudited)        (unaudited) 
Revenues:                                                          
Gross premiums written               $86,137     $77,283 $281,075    $247,683
                                                                  
Ceded premiums written               (4,519)     (4,032) (13,576)    (11,907)
                                                                  
Net premiums written                 $81,618     $73,251 $267,499    $235,776
                                                                  
Net premiums earned                  $81,596     $72,425 $243,288    $211,948
                                                                  
Net investment income                6,947       6,801   20,266      20,320
                                                                  
Net realized gains (losses) on        (654)       985     (1,921)     2,913
investments
                                                                  
Fee and other income                 114         163     393         484
                                                                  
Total revenues                       88,003      80,374  262,026     235,665
                                                                  
Expenses:                                                          
                                                                  
Loss and LAE                          57,046      53,851  169,860     162,414
                                                                  
Underwriting & Other                  18,472      16,495  57,012      46,557
                                                                  
Interest expense                     --        80      --        566
                                                                  
Policyholder dividends               38          945     980         1,659
                                                                  
Total expenses                       75,556      71,371  227,852     211,196
                                                                  
                                                                  
Income before taxes                  12,447      9,003   34,174      24,469
                                                                  
Income tax expense                   2,748       1,882   7,980       4,342
                                                                  
Net income                           $9,699      $7,121  $26,194     $20,127


AMERISAFE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income (cont.)
                                                               
                           Three Months Ended        Nine Months Ended
                           September 30,             September 30,
                                                               
                           2013         2012         2013         2012
                                                               
                           (in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
Basic EPS:                                                      
Net income, as reported    $9,699       $7,121       $26,194      $20,127
Less allocated income to    27           6            74           12
unvested shares
Net income available to     $9,672       $7,115       $26,120      $20,115
common shareholders
                                                               
Basic weighted average      18,395,971   18,173,062   18,343,901   18,154,768
common shares
Basic earnings per common   $0.53        $0.39        $1.42        $1.11
share
                                                               
Diluted EPS:                                                    
Net income available to
common shareholders -       $9,673       $7,116       $26,122      $20,116
diluted
Diluted weighted average                                        
common shares:
Weighted average common     18,395,971   18,173,062   18,343,901   18,154,768
shares
Stock options and           362,375      407,021      386,828      428,311
performance shares
Diluted weighted average    18,758,346   18,580,083   18,730,729   18,583,079
common shares
Diluted earnings per common $0.52        $0.38        $1.39        $1.08
share


AMERISAFE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheet
(in thousands)
                                                            
                                               September 30, December 31,
                                               2013          2012
                                               (unaudited)   
Assets                                                       
Investments                                    $861,516      $808,116
Cash and cash equivalents                      116,778       92,676
Amounts recoverable from reinsurers            77,835        101,352
Premiums receivable, net                       172,002       141,950
Deferred income taxes                          34,672        29,521
Deferred policy acquisition costs              21,085        18,419
Other assets                                   28,671        28,912
                                                            
Total Assets                                    $1,312,559    $1,220,946
                                                            
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity                         
Liabilities:                                                 
Reserves for loss and loss adjustment expenses $609,042      $570,450
Unearned premiums                              164,739       140,528
Insurance-related assessments                  28,887        22,244
Other liabilities                              109,179       106,502
                                                            
Total shareholders' equity                     400,712       381,222
                                                            
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity     $1,312,559    $1,220,946

CONTACT: Michael Grasher, EVP & CFO
         AMERISAFE, Inc.
         337-463-9052

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