Independence Holding Company Announces 2014 First-Quarter Results

Independence Holding Company Announces 2014 First-Quarter Results  STAMFORD, Conn., May 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) today reported 2014 first-quarter results.  Financial Results  IHC reported net income of $.21 per diluted share, or $3,701,000, for the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to $.26 per diluted share, or $4,701,000, for the three months ended March 31, 2013. The Company reported realized gains, net of tax, of $1,000,000 for the first three months of 2014 as compared to $2,961,000 in 2013. Revenues increased to $141,072,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2013 of $137,882,000.  Chief Executive Officer's Comments  Roy Thung, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased that our first-quarter results of $.21 per share are significantly improved over those reported in the fourth quarter of 2013 of $.10 per share. Our fully insured segment performed significantly better in the first quarter of 2014 than in the fourth quarter of 2013, as losses arising from the lines of major-medical business that we have exited – and which are in runoff – were significantly reduced due to lower premiums. We expect this runoff premium to continue to decline through the third quarter of 2014 and to terminate by the end of the year.Losses associated with the runoff are, as previously disclosed, largely attributable to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.  Earned premium for medical stop-loss, our largest segment, grew substantially over the same quarter of last year despite the cancellation during 2013 of two independent MGU's that were unprofitable.We also are reporting an increase in earnings in this line in the first quarter of 2014 due to better results on our directly written business. We attribute these positive developments to enhanced sales efforts in our direct business, focused underwriting and a general expansion of the market as new employer groups migrate to self-funding from fully insured in response to health care reform.We expect continued growth of business written as evidenced by the 30% growth in our direct business written in the twelve months ended April 30, 2014.  Our overall investment portfolio continues to be very highly rated (on average, AA) and has a duration of approximately six years. Our book value was $15.76 per share at March 31, 2014, an increase of 4% over the book value per share at December 31, 2013, and our total stockholders' equity is $277 million at March 31, 2014 compared to $269 million at December 31, 2013. Through May 1, 2014, we have repurchased 168,678 shares of IHC stock for $2.3 million at an average price of $13.35 per share, and our current intention is to continue to repurchase shares at current price levels.  With respect to medical stop-loss, we are quite pleased with our transformation into a direct writer.For 2014 and beyond, we expect that a growing percentage (currently 85%) of ourblock of stop-loss business will be written via our direct platform.Our fully insured division has transitioned from being focused on major-medical to being principally a specialty health insurance company with controlled distribution and higher-margin lines of business.As a result of the significant increase in the volume and quality of our stop-loss business and the improved profitability in our fully insured segment, we expect improved operating results for the remainder of the year as compared to 2013."   About Independence Holding Company  IHC is a holding company principally engaged in the life and health insurance business and the acquisition of blocks of policies through its insurance company subsidiaries (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company) and its marketing and administrative affiliates.Standard Security Life markets medical stop-loss, group major medical, short-term medical, limited medical, group long-term and short-term disability and life, dental, vision and various supplemental products. Madison National Life sells group life and disability, group major medical, dental, individual life insurance and various supplemental products. Independence American offers pet insurance, non-subscriber occupational accident, international coverages, small-group major medical and short-term medical. IHC owns certain subsidiaries through its majority ownership of American Independence Corp. (Nasdaq:AMIC), which is a holding company principally engaged in the insurance and reinsurance business.  Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered "forward-looking statements," such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance.Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC's ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC's other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements or earnings guidance, and does not undertake to provide any such guidance in the future.  INDEPENDENCE HOLDING COMPANY  FIRST QUARTER REPORT March 31, 2014 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)                                                                                                                            Three Months Ended                                                         March 31,                                                         2014       2013 REVENUES:                                                           Premiums earned                                          $123,270 $117,368 Net investment income                                    5,801      8,001 Fee income                                               9,339      6,542 Other income                                             1,111      1,352 Net realized investment gains                            1,551      4,619                                                         141,072    137,882                                                                    EXPENSES:                                                           Insurance benefits, claims and reserves                  85,309     85,460 Selling, general and administrative expenses             48,135     42,880 Amortization of deferred acquisitions costs              1,282      1,440 Interest expense on debt                                 481        487                                                                                                                            135,207    130,267                                                                    Income before income taxes                               5,865      7,615 Income taxes                                             1,860      2,575                                                                    Net income                                               4,005      5,040 Less: income from noncontrolling interests in            (304)      (339) subsidiaries                                                                    NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO IHC                           $3,701   $4,701                                                                    Basic income per common share                            $.21     $.26                                                                    WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING                      17,623     17,919                                                                    Diluted income per common share                          $.21     $.26                                                                    WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES OUTSTANDING              17,763     18,040                                                                     As of May 1, 2014, there were 17,491,712 common shares outstanding, net of treasury shares.                                                               INDEPENDENCE HOLDING COMPANY  CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (In Thousands, Except Share Data)                                                                                                              March 31,    December 31,                                                 2014         2013                                                              ASSETS:                                                       Investments:                                                  Short-term investments                           $50        $50 Securities purchased under agreements to resell  34,971       22,594 Trading securities                               10,594       7,125 Fixed maturities, available-for-sale             535,094      542,287 Equity securities, available-for-sale            11,995       11,803 Other investments                                25,344       25,123 Total investments                                618,048      608,982                                                              Cash and cash equivalents                        23,081       24,229 Deferred acquisition costs                       29,857       29,777 Due and unpaid premiums                          62,272       59,435 Due from reinsurers                              380,002      380,229 Premium and claim funds                          38,262       37,353 Goodwill                                         50,318       50,318 Other assets                                     86,178       78,712                                                              TOTAL ASSETS                                     $1,288,018 $1,269,035                                                              LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:                         LIABILITIES:                                                  Policy benefits and claims                       $236,656   $237,754 Future policy benefits                           287,309      287,449 Funds on deposit                                 274,090      274,826 Unearned premiums                                13,833       12,423 Other policyholders' funds                       25,014       25,129 Due to reinsurers                                39,528       37,113 Accounts payable, accruals and other liabilities 80,867       71,889 Debt                                             6,000        6,000 Junior subordinated debt securities              38,146       38,146                                                              TOTAL LIABILITIES                                1,001,443    990,729                                                              STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:                                         IHC STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:                                     Preferred stock (none issued)                    --           -- Common stock                                     18,524       18,524 Paid-in capital                                  126,335      126,239 Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)    (4,954)      (10,472) Treasury stock, at cost                          (9,432)      (8,169) Retained earnings                                146,357      142,669                                                              TOTAL IHC STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                   276,830      268,791 NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS IN SUBSIDIARIES         9,745        9,515                                                              TOTAL EQUITY                                     286,575      278,306                                                              TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY                     $1,288,018 $1,269,035                                                               CONTACT: ADAM VANDERVOORT          (646) 509-2156  
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