Ambac Announces First Quarter 2014 Results

Ambac Announces First Quarter 2014 Results  Favorable Loss Reserve Development and Execution of Commutation Strategy Drive Results  NEW YORK, May 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ambac Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMBC) ("Ambac" or the "Company"), a holding company whose subsidiaries, including Ambac Assurance Corporation ("Ambac Assurance"), provide financial guarantees and other financial services to clients in both the public and private sectors globally, today reported results for the three months ended March 31, 2014.  Ambac First Quarter 2014 Summary Results ($ in millions, except per share data)                                               Successor Predecessor Chg $                                                1Q14      1Q13 Net premiums earned                            $82.5   $100.3    $(17.8) Net investment income                          70.8     84.5       (13.7) Other than temporary impairment losses         (10.4)   --        (10.4) Net realized investment gains                  16.3     46.1       (29.8) Net change in fair value of credit derivatives 7.4      12.8       (5.4) Derivative products revenue                    (53.8)   (0.6)      (53.2) (Loss) income from Variable Interest Entities  (5.5)    38.3       (43.8) ("VIEs") Loss and loss expenses (benefit)               (140.0)  (51.1)     (88.9) Interest and gross operating expenses          58.2     51.5       6.7 Insurance intangible amortization              31.7     --        31.7 Net income                                     155.9    282.3      (126.4) Net income per fully diluted share             $3.31   $0.93     NM Operating earnings ^1                          176.6    297.4      (120.8) Operating earnings per fully diluted share^1   $3.75   $0.98     NM Weighted-average diluted shares outstanding    47.0     302.6      NM ^1 Non-GAAP Financial Data                                          NM = Not Meaningful                                                  Commenting on today's announcement, Diana N. Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased to report another quarter of solid financial results. Our efforts in the first quarter remained focused on carrying out our value creation initiatives, which included the acquisition of approximately $280 million par of student loan securities in anticipation of commuting the associated expected future losses. This purchase is another step forward in our strategy to pursue opportunities for loss mitigation through proactive management of our insurance and investment portfolios."  Following the Company's emergence from bankruptcy on May 1, 2013, the consolidated financial statements reflect the application of fresh start reporting ("Fresh Start") incorporating, among other things, the discharge of debt obligations, issuance of new common stock, and fair value adjustments. The financial results of the Company relating to periods beginning May 1, 2013 are referred to as "Successor" and the financial results relating to periods through April 30, 2013 ("Fresh Start Reporting Date") are referred to as "Predecessor".  Net Income and Operating Earnings  Net income in the first quarter 2014 was $155.9 million, or $3.31 per diluted share, compared with $282.3 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2013. During the same periods, operating earnings were $176.6 million, or $3.75 per diluted share compared with $297.4 million, or $0.98 per diluted share.  Net Premiums Earned  Net premiums earned include normal net premiums, and accelerated premiums, which result from calls and other policy accelerations recognized during the period. For the first quarter of 2014, net premiums earned were $82.5 million, as compared to $100.3 million in the first quarter of 2013. The decrease in net premiums earned was primarily driven by decreases in public finance and structured finance normal earned premiums resulting from the run-off of the associated insured portfolios. In addition, accelerated premiums earned decreased as a result of lower public finance and structured finance refundings, partially offset by an increase in international accelerated premiums.The following table provides a summary of net premiums earned for the three month periods ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013:                               SuccessorAmbac–  PredecessorAmbac– ($ in millions)              Three Months Ended ThreeMonthsEnded                              March 31, 2014    March 31, 2013 Public Finance               $27.3            $36.1 Structured Finance           10.4              15.7 International Finance        19.7              19.1 Total normal premiums earned 57.4              70.9 Accelerated premiums earned  25.1              29.4 Total net premiums earned    $82.5            $100.3  Net Investment Income  Net investment income for the first quarter of 2014 was $70.8 million, as compared to $84.5 million for the first quarter of 2013.The decrease in net investment income was driven primarily by Fresh Start adjustments that increased the overall amortized cost basis and decreased the effective yield of the portfolio for Successor Ambac.  The decline in investment income was moderated by the ongoing reallocation of the Financial Guarantee investment portfolio away from municipal securities towards more diversified assets and distressed Ambac insured securities purchased as part of the Company's loss remediation strategy.Financial Services investment income continues to decline, as the investment agreement portfolio runs off and the balance of investment agreement assets declines accordingly.  Net Other-Than-Temporary Impairments  Net other-than-temporary impairments of invested assets recognized in earnings was $10.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to no impairments for the three months ended March 31, 2013.Net other-than-temporary impairments in the first quarter of 2014 relate to credit losses on certain Ambac insured securities purchased as part of its risk remediation strategy and the Company's intent to sell certain securities that were in an unrealized loss position as of March 31, 2014 in connection with its portfolio reallocation initiative referenced above.Our ongoing assessment of liquidity, particularly in light of the previously announced proposed amendments to the Plan of Rehabilitation, could result in Ambac being required to sell securities that are in an unrealized loss position, which could result in additional other-than-temporary impairment charges in the future.  Net Realized Investment Gains  Net realized investment gains for the first quarter of 2014 were $16.3 million, as compared to $46.1 million for the first quarter of 2013.The first quarter of 2014 included gains associated with the sale of certain assets pursuant to Ambac's remediation activities, gains on securities sold in connection with the investment portfolio reallocation initiative, and foreign exchange losses of $2.1 million.Net gains for the first quarter of 2013 were primarily the result of recoveries from the settlement of litigation associated with investment securities that were previously written-off.  Net Change in Fair Value of Credit Derivatives  The gain attributable to the change in fair value of credit derivatives for the three months ended March 31, 2014 was $7.4 million as compared to $12.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013. The change in fair value of credit derivatives for both periods includes improvement in reference obligation prices, gains associated with the runoff of the portfolio and credit derivative fees earned, net of the impact of the Ambac Assurance credit valuation adjustment ("Ambac CVA").The reduction in the Ambac CVA resulted in losses within the overall change in fair value of credit derivative liabilities of $9.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, and $69.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013.  Derivative Products  The derivative products portfolio has been positioned to generate gains in a rising interest rate environment in order to provide an economic hedge against the impact of rising rates on certain exposures within the financial guarantee insurance portfolio.Derivative products revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2014 was a loss of $53.8 million as compared to a loss of $0.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013. Derivative products revenue during both periods reflect mark-to-market gains and losses in the portfolio caused by changing interest rates offset by the impact of the Ambac CVA in the valuation of financial services derivatives. The first quarter 2014 loss was driven by falling interest rates partially offset by gains of $5.4 million from the impact of the Ambac CVA.In the first quarter of 2013, interest rate driven gains were more than offset by losses of $30.1 million from the impact of the Ambac CVA.  (Loss) Income on Variable Interest Entities (VIEs)  VIE losses for the three months ended March 31, 2014 were $5.5 million, as compared to a gain of $38.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013.Losses on VIEs for the first quarter of 2014 reflect the decreased fair value of net assets related primarily to the lower CVA applied to certain VIE note liabilities that include significant projected financial guarantee claims.Gains in the first quarter 2013 reflect increases to the fair value of net assets arising from longer estimated lives of certain transactions.  Loss and Loss Expenses (Benefit), and Loss Reserves  Loss and loss expenses (benefit) for the first quarter of 2014 were $(140.0) million, as compared to $(51.1) million for the three months ended March 31, 2013.First quarter 2014 results were driven by lower estimated losses in residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS") and student loan securities, partially offset by higher estimated losses as a result of declines in discount rates during the period.Reductions in RMBS estimated losses were primarily due to historical and projected housing price appreciation and improved performance in underlying transactions.In the first quarter 2014, Ambac acquired approximately $280 million par of student loan securities and is anticipating commuting the expected future losses.With this purchase, the Company's view of the likelihood of commutations for such securities increased, resulting in lower probability weighted loss reserves.The first quarter 2013 was impacted by lower estimated losses in RMBS and public finance, partially offset by higher estimated losses in student loan securities.  During the first quarter of 2014, loss and loss expenses paid, net of recoveries and reinsurance from all policies, were $9.4 million as compared to $(12.3) million during the first quarter of 2013. The change was primarily the result of lower claims paid and lower subrogation received.Claims paid include 25% of policy claims permitted and paid by the Segregated Account, all claims presented to the General Account, and supplemental and special payments made as required by the Rehabilitator.Subrogation received includes recoveries under and in connection with RMBS transactions.  Although the Rehabilitation Plan for the Segregated Account has not become effective, the Segregated Account is currently paying 25% of permitted policy claims pursuant to a Rehabilitation Court order.As of March 31, 2014, approximately $4.0 billion of such policy claims remained unpaid.  As previously announced, the Rehabilitator is seeking Rehabilitation Court approval to amend the Rehabilitation Plan.Assuming that the amendments to the Rehabilitation Plan are approved and based on a 5.1% annual interest rate being applicable to all unpaid portions of permitted policy claims, accrued interest on the unpaid portions of permitted policy claims would be approximately $277 million through March 31, 2014. This accrued interest amount is currently not reflected in the Company's financial results and will be recorded only upon approval of these amendments by the Rehabilitation Court.  Loss reserves (gross of reinsurance and net of subrogation recoveries) were $5.3 billion at March 31, 2014 and $5.5 billion at December 31, 2013.  The following table provides loss reserves by bond type at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013:  ($ in millions)                    March 31, 2014 December 31, 2013 RMBS                               $3,211        $3,312 Student Loans                      891            982 Domestic Public Finance            343            338 Ambac UK                           674            633 All other credits                  95             94 Loss expenses (including Ambac UK) 100            111 Totals                             $5,314        $5,470  Reserves as of March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, are net of $2.2 billion of estimated representation and warranty breach remediation recoveries.Ambac Assurance is pursuing remedies and enforcing its rights, through lawsuits and other methods, to seek redress for breaches of representations and warranties and fraud related to various RMBS transactions.  Expenses  Gross operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2014 were $25.9, compared to $28.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013.The decrease in expenses was largely driven by lower compensation-related expenses in the first quarter 2014 compared to the same period last year.  At the Fresh Start Reporting Date, an insurance intangible asset was recorded which represented the difference between the fair value and aggregate carrying value of insurance and reinsurance assets and liabilities.The insurance intangible asset is being amortized over the remaining life of Ambac's exposures.The insurance intangible amortization expense for the three months ended March 31, 2014 was $31.7 million.  Interest expense was $32.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, as compared to $23.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013.Interest expense includes accrued interest on investment agreements and surplus notes issued by Ambac Assurance and the Segregated Account. Additionally, interest expense includes discount accretion on surplus notes as their carrying value is at a discount to par.At the Fresh Start Reporting Date, the unamortized discounts on surplus notes were decreased by resetting the carrying value to fair value, and future cash flows on the surplus notes were re-projected. Both of these items have impacted the amount of discount accretion recognized in interest expense for Successor Ambac.Accretion of surplus note discounts included within overall interest expense was $12.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, as compared to $3.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013.  The following table provides a summary of interest expense for the three month periods ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013:                        SuccessorAmbac–  PredecessorAmbac– ($ in millions)       Three Months Ended ThreeMonthsEnded                       March 31, 2014    March 31, 2013 Interest expense:                        Surplus notes         $31.9            $22.0 Investment agreements 0.4               1.0 Secured borrowing     --               0.2 Total                 $32.3            $23.2  If the Rehabilitation Plan is amended in the form proposed by the Rehabilitator, the Rehabilitator intends to redeem certain Segregated Account surplus notes (other than junior surplus notes) at a redemption price that would include an amount equal to accrued interest on such redeemed surplus notes.Any such payment would also trigger similar proportionate redemption payments on Ambac Assurance's surplus notes. Settlement of these liabilities would result in a charge representing the accelerated recognition of the unamortized discount on the redeemed surplus notes.Ambac will record this charge only upon redemption of such notes.As of March 31, 2014, the unamortized discount on the portion of Segregated Account and General Account surplus notes expected to be redeemed was $82.4 million.  Taxes  The provision for income taxes of $3.2 million for the first quarter 2014, compared to $0.6 million for the same period last year. First quarter 2014 income taxes consist primarily of alternative minimum taxes.Both periods also included income tax expense as a result of pre-tax profits in Ambac UK's Italian branch, which cannot be offset by losses in other jurisdictions.  At March 31, 2014 the Company had $5.2 billion of U.S. Federal net operating loss carryforwards ("NOLs"), including $1.4 billion at Ambac Financial Group and $3.8 billion at Ambac Assurance.  Balance Sheet  Total assets at March 31, 2014 were $27.1 billion, unchanged from December 31, 2013.The fair value of the consolidated non-VIE investment portfolio was $6.7 billion and $6.5 billion at March 31, 2014 and at December 31, 2013, respectively. The fair value of the financial guarantee investment portfolio was $6.3 billion at March 31, 2014, up $0.2 billion from $6.1 billion at December 31, 2013.  Total liabilities at March 31, 2014 were $25.9 billion, a decrease of approximately $0.2 billion from $26.1 billion at December 31, 2013.The decrease was primarily the result of a decrease in VIE liabilities, loss and loss expense reserves and unearned premium reserves, partially offset by increases in payable for securities purchased and derivative liabilities.  Non-GAAP Financial Data  In addition to reporting the Company's financial results in accordance with GAAP, the Company reports two non-GAAP financial measures: Operating Earnings and Adjusted Book Value. A non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of financial performance or financial position that excludes (or includes) amounts that are included in (or excluded from) the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. We are presenting these non-GAAP financial measures because they provide greater transparency and enhanced visibility into the underlying profitability drivers of our business and the impact of certain items that the Company believes will reverse from GAAP book value over time through the GAAP statements of comprehensive income. Operating Earnings and Adjusted Book Value are not substitutes for the Company's GAAP reporting, should not be viewed in isolation and may differ from similar reporting provided by other companies, which may define non-GAAP measures differently.  Operating Earnings  Operating Earnings were $176.6 million, or $3.75 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2014 as compared to $297.4 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2013.Insurance intangible amortization was the primary difference between net income and operating earnings in the first quarter of 2014.  The following table reconciles Net Income attributable to common shareholders to the non-GAAP measure, Operating Earnings, for the three month periods ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2013:                              Successor Ambac          Predecessor Ambac                             Three Months Ended March Three Months Ended March                              31, 2014                 31, 2013 ($ in millions)              $ Amount   Per Diluted   $ Amount   Per Diluted                                         Share                    Share                                                               Net income attributable to   $155.9   $3.31       $282.3   $0.93 common shareholders Adjustments:                                                   Non-credit impairment fair value gain on credit         (4.2)     (0.09)        (5.9)     (0.02) derivatives Effect of consolidating      0.3       0.01          (27.0)    (0.09) financial guarantee VIEs Insurance intangible         31.7      0.67          --       0.00 amortization FX gain from re-measurement                                    of premium receivables and loss and loss expense    (1.7)     (0.04)        17.9      0.06 reserves Fair value loss on derivatives products from    (5.4)     (0.11)        30.1      0.10 Ambac CVA Operating earnings           $176.6   $3.75       $297.4   $0.98  Adjusted Book Value  Adjusted Book Value was ($187.2) million as of March 31, 2014, as compared to ($280.7) million at December 31, 2013.  The following table reconciles Total Ambac Financial Group, Inc. stockholders' equity (deficit) to the non-GAAP measure Adjusted Book Value as of each date presented:  ($ in millions)                              March 31, 2014 December 31, 2013 Total Ambac Financial Group, Inc.            $953.2        $703.0 stockholders' equity Adjustments:                                                 Non-credit impairment fair value losses on   68.6           72.8 credit derivatives Effect of consolidating financial guarantee  (373.4)        (372.7) VIEs Insurance intangible asset and goodwill      (2,084.6)      (2,112.5) Ambac CVA on derivative product liabilities  (53.8)         (48.4) (excluding credit derivatives) Net unearned premiums and fees in excess of  1,349.6        1,435.2 expected losses Net unrealized investment losses in          (46.8)         41.9 Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income Adjusted Book Value                          $(187.2)      $(280.7)  The Adjusted Book Value increase from December 31, 2013 to March 31 2014 of $93.5 million was driven by operating earnings, partially offset by a reduction in unearned premiums related to premiums earned during the quarter and previously recognized in Adjusted Book Value.  Explanation of Non-GAAP Measures  Operating Earnings. Operating earnings eliminate the impact of certain GAAP accounting requirements and include certain items that the Company has realized or expects to realize in the future, but that are not reported under GAAP. Operating earnings is defined as net income attributable to common shareholders, as reported under GAAP, adjusted on an after-tax basis for the following:    *Elimination of the non-credit impairment fair value gains (losses) on     credit derivatives, which is the amount in excess of the present value of     the expected estimated credit losses. GAAP fair values include adjustments     that are heavily affected by, and in part fluctuate with, changes in     market factors such as interest rates and credit spreads, including the     market's perception of Ambac's credit risk ("Ambac CVA"), which are not     expected to result in realized gains or losses. These adjustments allow     for all financial guarantee segment contracts to be accounted for     consistent with the Financial Services – Insurance Topic of ASC, whether     or not they are subject to derivative accounting rules.   *Elimination of the effects of VIEs that were consolidated as a result of     being insured by Ambac. These adjustments eliminate the VIE consolidation     and ensure that all financial guarantee segment contracts are accounted     for consistent with the provisions of the Financial Services – Insurance     Topic of the ASC, whether or not they are subject to consolidation     accounting rules.   *Elimination of the amortization of the financial guarantee insurance     intangible asset and impairment of goodwill that arose as a result of     Ambac's emergence from bankruptcy and the implementation of Fresh Start     reporting. The amount reported in net income attributable to common     shareholders represents the amortization of Fresh Start adjustments     relating to financial guarantee contracts. These adjustments ensure that     all financial guarantee segment contracts are accounted for consistent     with the provisions of the Financial Services – Insurance Topic of the     ASC.   *Elimination of the foreign exchange gains (losses) on re-measurement of     net premium receivables and loss and loss expense reserves. Long-duration     receivables constitute a significant portion of the net premium receivable     balance and represent the present value of future contractual or expected     collections. Therefore, the current period's foreign exchange     re-measurement gains (losses) are not necessarily indicative of the total     foreign exchange gains (losses) that the Company will ultimately     recognize.   *Elimination of the gains (losses) relating to Ambac's CVA included in the     fair value of derivative contracts other than credit derivatives. Similar     to credit derivatives, fair values include the market's perception of     Ambac's credit risk and this adjustment only allows for such gain or loss     when realized.   *Elimination of non-recurring GAAP Fresh Start reporting adjustments.  Adjusted Book Value. Adjusted Book Value eliminates the impact of certain GAAP accounting requirements and includes the addition of certain items that the Company has realized or expects to realize in the future, but that are not reported under GAAP. Adjusted Book Value is defined as Total Ambac Financial Group, Inc. stockholders' equity (deficit) as reported under GAAP, adjusted for after-tax impact of the following:    *Elimination of the non-credit impairment fair value loss on credit     derivatives, which is the amount in excess of the present value of the     expected estimated credit loss. GAAP fair values include adjustments that     are heavily affected by, and in part fluctuate with, changes in market     factors such as interest rates and credit spreads, including Ambac's CVA,     which are not expected to result in realized gains or losses. These     adjustments allow for all financial guarantee segment contracts to be     accounted for within Adjusted Book Value consistent with the provisions of     the Financial Services—Insurance Topic of the ASC, whether or not they are     subject to derivative accounting rules.   *Elimination of the effects of VIEs that were consolidated as a result of     being insured by Ambac. These adjustments eliminate VIE consolidation and     ensure that all financial guarantee segment contracts are accounted for     within Adjusted Book Value consistent with the provisions of the Financial     Services—Insurance Topic of the ASC, whether or not they are subject to     consolidation accounting rules.   *Elimination of the financial guarantee insurance intangible asset and     goodwill that arose as a result of Ambac's emergence from bankruptcy and     the implementation of Fresh Start reporting. These adjustments ensure that     all financial guarantee segment contracts are accounted for within     Adjusted Book Value consistent with the provisions of the Financial     Services—Insurance Topic of the ASC.   *Elimination of the gains relating to Ambac's CVA embedded in the fair     value of derivative contracts other than credit derivatives. Similar to     credit derivatives, fair values include the market's perception of Ambac's     credit risk and this adjustment only allows for such gains when realized.   *Addition of the value of the unearned premium reserve on financial     guaranty contracts and fees on credit derivative contracts in excess of     expected loss to be expensed, net of reinsurance. This adjustment     represents the expected future net earned premiums and credit derivative     fees, net of expected losses to be expensed, which are not reflected in     GAAP equity.   *Elimination of the unrealized gains and losses on the Company's     investments that are recorded as a component of accumulated other     comprehensive income ("AOCI"). The AOCI component of the fair value     adjustment on the investment portfolio may differ materially from realized     gains and losses ultimately recognized by the Company based on the     Company's investment strategy. This adjustment only allows for such gains     and losses in Adjusted Book Value when realized.  Ambac has a significant NOL that is offset by a full valuation allowance in the GAAP consolidated financial statements. As a result, for purposes of Adjusted Book Value, we utilized a 0% effective tax rate. We maintain a full valuation allowance against our deferred tax asset and recognition of the value of the NOL would be reflected in Adjusted Book Value considering all the facts and circumstances as of the relevant reporting date.  Comparability of Successor and Predecessor  The following significantly affect the comparability of first quarter 2014 results:    *Investment Income: As required under Fresh Start, the amortized cost basis     of Ambac's fixed income securities were adjusted to fair value as of the     Fresh Start Reporting Date. This resulted in an overall increase in the     amortized cost of fixed income securities and offsetting decrease in     Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income of $826.6 million. Premiums and     discounts are amortized or accreted over the remaining term of the     securities using the effective interest method. As a result of Fresh     Start, the net unamortized discount in the portfolio decreased on the     Fresh Start Reporting Date by the amount of the increase to amortized cost     described above, which impacted the amount of premium amortization and     discount accretion reflected in net investment income of Successor Ambac.   *Interest Expense: As required under Fresh Start, surplus notes issued by     Ambac Assurance and the Segregated Account and the related accrued     interest on such notes were adjusted to fair value as of the Fresh Start     Reporting Date. This resulted in an overall increase in the carrying value     of debt and accrued interest by $767.9 million. Discounts to the face     value of debt are accreted through interest expense based on the projected     cash flows of the instruments using the effective interest method. As a     result of Fresh Start, the unamortized discounts on surplus notes have     decreased and the future cash flows have been re-projected, both of which     impacted the amount of discount accretion recognized in interest expense     for Successor Ambac.   *Operating Expenses—Deferred Acquisition Costs: As required under Fresh     Start, deferred acquisition costs have been written off as of the Fresh     Start Reporting Date and accordingly amortization of such costs will not     be reflected in Successor Ambac's net income.   *Insurance Intangible Amortization: At the Fresh Start Reporting Date, an     insurance intangible asset was recorded which represents the difference     between the fair value and aggregate carrying value of the financial     guarantee insurance and reinsurance assets and liabilities. The carrying     value of our financial guarantee insurance and reinsurance contracts will     continue to be reported and measured in accordance with existing     accounting policies; these line items primarily comprise premiums     receivable, reinsurance recoverable on paid and unpaid losses, unearned     premiums, deferred ceded premium, subrogation recoverable, losses and loss     expense reserve, and ceded premiums payable. Pursuant to the business     combinations guidance for insurance entities in Financial     Services—Insurance Topic of the ASC, the insurance intangible asset is     amortized into expense on a basis consistent with the related financial     guarantee insurance or reinsurance contracts.   *Predecessor Ambac common stock was cancelled upon emergence from     bankruptcy on May 1, 2013.As a result, the earnings per share information     for Predecessor Ambac is not meaningful to investors in Successor Ambac's     common stock and warrants.  Earnings Call and Webcast  On May 13, 2014 at 8:00am (ET), members of senior management will discuss first quarter 2014 results during a live conference call.Ambac's conference call will be accessible via telephone and webcast.The dial-in number for Ambac's conference call is 855-427-4389 (Domestic) or 484-756-4251 (International).Webcast participants may access the call through the Investor Relations section of Ambac's website, http://ir.ambac.com/events.cfm.  A replay of the call will be available for one week at 855-859-2056 (Domestic) or 404-537-3406 (International); conference ID # 30676372. The webcast will be archived on Ambac's website for approximately 90 days.  About Ambac  Ambac Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in New York City, is a holding company whose subsidiaries, including its principal operating subsidiary, Ambac Assurance Corporation ("Ambac Assurance"), Everspan Financial Guarantee Corp., and Ambac Assurance UK Limited, provide financial guarantees and other financial services to clients in both the public and private sectors globally. Ambac Assurance, including the Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance (in rehabilitation), is a guarantor of public finance and structured finance obligations. Ambac Financial Group, Inc. is also exploring opportunities involving the acquisition and/or development of new businesses. Ambac Financial Group Inc.'s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.For more information, please go to http://ambac.com.  Forward-Looking Statements  In this press release, we have included statements that may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "estimate," "project," "plan," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "planned," "potential" and similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "should," "would," "could," and "may," or the negative of those expressions or verbs, identify forward-looking statements. We caution readers that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts but instead represent only our beliefs regarding future events, which, may by their nature be inherently uncertain and some of which may be outside our control. These statements may relate to plans and objectives with respect to the future, among other things which may change. We are alerting you to the possibility that our actual results may differ, possibly materially, from the expected objectives or anticipated results that may be suggested, expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause our results to differ, possibly materially, from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include, among others, those discussed under "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item1A of the 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and in Part II, Item 1A of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three month period ended March 31, 2014, and under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Part I, Item 2 of the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three month period ended March 31, 2014.  Any or all of management's forward-looking statements here or in other publications may turn out to be incorrect and are based on management's current belief or opinions. Ambac's actual results may vary materially, and there are no guarantees about the performance of Ambac's securities. Among events, risks, uncertainties or factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are: (1)volatility in the price of Ambac's common stock; (2)uncertainty concerning our ability to achieve value for holders of Ambac securities, whether from Ambac Assurance Corporation ("Ambac Assurance") or from new business opportunities, including risks associated with the possible dilution of the ownership interests of our stockholders; (3)our inability to achieve the financial results projected during our Chapter 11 proceeding; (4)potential of rehabilitation proceedings against Ambac Assurance; (5)decisions made by the Rehabilitator of the Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corporation (the "Segregated Account")for the benefit of policyholders that may result in material adverse consequences for Ambac's security holders; (6)our inability to realize the expected recoveries included in our financial statements; (7)intercompany disputes or disputes with the Rehabilitator of the Segregated Account; (8)material changes to the Segregated Account rehabilitation plan or to current rules and procedures governing the payment of permitted policy claims, with resulting adverse impacts; (9) decisions of the Rehabilitator concerning payments of deferred claim amounts or payments on surplus notes, the timing or magnitude of which is disadvantageous to Ambac, (10) increased fiscal stress experienced by issuers of public finance obligations or an increased incidence of Chapter 9 filings by municipal issuers; (11)adverse events arising from the rehabilitation proceedings for the Segregated Account, including the failure of the injunctions issued by the Wisconsin rehabilitation court to protect the Segregated Account and Ambac Assurance from certain adverse actions; (12)adverse tax consequences or other costs resulting from the Segregated Account rehabilitation plan or from rules and procedures governing the payment of permitted policy claims; (13)credit risk throughout our business, including but not limited to credit risk related to residential mortgage-backed securities, student loan and other asset securitizations, collateralized loan obligations, public finance obligations and exposures to reinsurers; (14)risks attendant to the change in composition of securities in our investment portfolio; (15)inadequacy of reserves established for losses and loss expenses; (16)the risk that our risk management policies and practices do not anticipate certain risks and/or the magnitude of potential for loss as a result of unforeseen risks; (17)changes in prevailing interest rates; (18)factors that may influence the amount of installment premiums paid to Ambac, including the Segregated Account rehabilitation proceedings; (19)default by one or more of Ambac Assurance's portfolio investments, insured issuers or counterparties; (20)market risks impacting assets in our investment portfolio or the value of our assets posted as collateral in respect of investment agreements and interest rate swap transactions; (21)risks relating to determinations of amounts of impairments taken on investments; (22)credit and liquidity risks due to unscheduled and unanticipated withdrawals on investment agreements; (23)the risk of litigation and regulatory inquiries or investigations, and the risk of adverse outcomes in connection therewith, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations, financial position, profitability or cash flows; (24)system security risks; (25)the effects of U.S. fiscal policies; (26)market spreads and pricing on derivative products insured or issued by Ambac or its subsidiaries; (27)the risk of volatility in income and earnings, including volatility due to the application of fair value accounting; (28)changes in accounting principles or practices that may impact Ambac's financial results, including those resulting from potential amendments to the Segregated Account Rehabilitation Plan; (29)legislative and regulatory developments; (30)operational risks, including with respect to internal processes, risk models, systems and employees, and failures in services or products provided by third parties; (31)Ambac's financial position and the Segregated Account rehabilitation proceedings that may prompt departures of key employees and may impact our ability to attract qualified executives and employees; and (32)other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time.  Ambac Financial Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited) (Dollars in Thousands Except Share Data)                                                                                                                                                               Successor Ambac    Predecessor                                         Three Months Ended Three Months Ended                                          March 31, 2014     March 31, 2013                                                            Revenues:                                                                                                              Net premiums earned                      $82,547            $100,256                                                            Net investment income:                                      Securities available-for-sale and        68,807             85,057 short-term Other investments                        1,994             (543) Total net investment income              70,801            84,514                                                            Other-than-temporary impairment losses:                     Total other-than-temporary impairment    (10,392)           -- losses Portion of loss recognized in other      --               -- comprehensive income Net other-than-temporary impairment      (10,392)          -- losses recognized in earnings                                                            Net realized investment gains (losses)   16,289             46,060                                                            Change in fair value of credit                              derivatives: Realized gains (losses) and other        775                2,509 settlements Unrealized gains (losses)                6,607             10,278 Net change in fair value of credit       7,382             12,787 derivatives                                                            Derivative products                      (53,841)           (569) Other income                             1,894              9,498 (Loss) income on variable interest       (5,542)           38,326 entities Total revenues before expenses and       109,138            290,872 reorganization items                                                            Expenses:                                                   Losses and loss expenses (benefit)       (140,011)          (51,135) Insurance intangible amortization        31,714             -- Underwriting and operating expenses      25,786             33,874 Interest expense                         32,328            23,165 Total (benefit) expenses before          (50,183)           5,904 reorganization items                                                            Pre-tax income (loss) from continuing    159,321           284,968 operations before reorganization items                                                            Reorganization items                     23                 2,059                                                            Pre-tax income (loss) from continuing    159,298           282,909 operations                                                            Provision for income taxes               3,249             657 Net income (loss)                        156,049           282,252 Less:net gain (loss) attributable to the 107               (47) noncontrolling interest Net income (loss) attributable to common $155,942           $282,299 shareholders                                                                                                                       Net income (loss) per share              $3.46              $0.93 Net income (loss) per diluted share      $3.31              $0.93                                                            Weighted-average number of common shares                    outstanding:                                                            Basic                                    45,042,823        302,469,966                                                            Diluted                                  47,045,742        302,579,981   Ambac Financial Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries Consolidated Balance Sheets March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013 (Dollars in Thousands)                                                                                                                                                                      March 31, 2014 December 31, 2013                                              (unaudited)     Assets                                                                                                                   Investments:                                                 Fixed income securities, at fair value (amortized cost of $6,121,910 in 2014 and     $6,168,689     $5,885,316 $5,927,254 in 2013) Fixed income securities pledged as collateral, at fair value (amortized cost of  125,123       126,223 $125,090 in 2014 and $126,196 in 2013) Short-term investments, at fair value (amortized cost of $215,103 in 2014 and       215,103        271,119 $271,118 in 2013) Other investments, at fair value              240,530        241,069 Total investments                             6,749,445      6,523,727                                                             Cash                                          31,700         77,370 Receivable for securities                     36,447         14,450 Investment income due and accrued             34,641         37,663 Premium receivables                           1,418,114      1,453,021 Reinsurance recoverable on paid and unpaid    111,442        121,249 losses Deferred ceded premium                        142,280        145,529 Subrogation recoverable                       512,235        498,478 Loans                                         6,250          6,179 Derivative assets                             81,911         77,711 Insurance intangible assets                   1,570,070     1,597,965 Goodwill                                      514,511       514,511 Other assets                                  72,865         35,927 Variable interest entity assets:                             Fixed income securities, at fair value        2,546,762      2,475,182 Restricted cash                               8,552          17,498 Investment income due and accrued             4,247          1,365 Loans                                         13,269,452     13,398,895 Intangible assets                             --           76,140 Other assets                                  3,324          19,617 Total assets                                  $27,114,248    $27,092,477                                                             Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity                                                                                     Liabilities:                                                 Unearned premiums                             2,167,764     2,255,680 Losses and loss expense reserve               5,826,168      5,968,712 Ceded premiums payable                        69,892         70,962 Obligations under investment agreements       359,993        359,070 Deferred taxes                                2,202          2,199 Current taxes                                 3,761          738 Long-term debt                                972,147        963,178 Accrued interest payable                      317,052        294,817 Derivative liabilities                        300,840        253,898 Other liabilities                             58,819         67,377 Payable for securities purchased              79,697        4,654 Variable interest entity liabilities:                        Accrued interest payable                      3,569         722 Long-term debt, at fair value                 13,878,577    14,091,753 Derivative liabilities                        1,844,690     1,772,306 Other liabilities                             266           7,989 Total liabilities                             25,885,437     26,114,055                                                             Stockholders' equity:                                        Preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share; authorized shares - 20,000,000; issued and    --           -- outstanding shares - none Common stock, par value $0.01 per share; authorized shares - 130,000,000; issued and   450            450 outstanding shares - 45,003,512 at March 31, 2014 and 45,003,461 at December 31, 2013 Additional paid-in capital                    187,210        185,672 Accumulated other comprehensive income        104,417       11,661 Accumulated earnings                          661,161       505,219 Common stock held in treasury at cost, 937 shares at March 31, 2014 and at December 31,  (19)          (19) 2013 Total Ambac Financial Group, Inc.             953,219        702,983 stockholders' equity                                                             Non-controlling interest                      275,592        275,439 Total stockholders' equity                    1,228,811      978,422 Total liabilities and stockholders' equity    $27,114,248    $27,092,477  CONTACT: Abbe F. Goldstein, CFA          Managing Director, Investor Relations and          Corporate Communications          (212) 208-3222          agoldstein@ambac.com  Ambac Financial Group, Inc.  
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