RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported net income of $1.40 per diluted share for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 compared to a net loss of $1.68 per diluted share for the same period of 2003. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 was $11.68 per diluted share compared to $7.99 per diluted share in 2003. The combined ratio for the third quarter of 2004 was 106% compared to 110% in 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, the combined ratio was 97% compared to 101% in the prior year. The third quarter and nine month results reflected approximately $80 million of pretax net losses related to Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "While the losses suffered as a result of unprecedented hurricane activity during the third quarter have impacted our financial results, we are pleased to report that our business continues to generate strong underwriting profits."
In evaluating its operating performance, the Company focuses on core underwriting and investing results (core operations) before consideration of realized gains or losses, amortization expenses and nonrecurring items (these measures do not replace operating income (loss) or net income (loss) computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles as a measure of profitability). The Company believes that this measure provides meaningful information about the performance of its core underwriting and investing activities. The Company's definition of core operations may not be comparable to that used by other companies. Following is a comparison of 2004 and 2003 results on a per diluted share basis, except for book value per common share outstanding (shares in thousands).
Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended September 30, September 30, 2004 2003 2004 2003 Core operations $1.00 $(1.19) $10.80 $5.90 Realized gains (losses) (0.02) 0.49 .46 2.36 Amortization expense - - - (0.27) Nonrecurring tax benefit 0.42 - 0.42 - Diluted net income (loss) $1.40 $(1.68) $11.68 $7.99 Weighted average diluted shares 9,854 9,845 9,855 9,859 September 30, December 31, 2004 2003 Book value per common share outstanding $152.93 $140.38 Common shares outstanding 9,847 9,847
Third quarter income from core operations was $1.00 per share in 2004 compared to a loss of $1.19 per share for 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, income from core operations was $10.80 per share compared to income from core operations of $5.90 per share for the same period in 2003. The increase in both periods of 2004 was due to improved underwriting results in the Excess and Surplus Lines, Specialty Admitted and Other segments compared to 2003.
Book value increased 9% to $152.93 per share primarily as a result of $115.1 million of net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2004.
Comprehensive income was $69.8 million for the third quarter of 2004 compared to comprehensive loss of $27.7 million for the same period of 2003. The improvement was primarily due to an increase in the market value of the Company's investment portfolio and higher net income as a result of improved underwriting performance in the third quarter of 2004 compared to the same period of 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, comprehensive income was $122.4 million compared to $142.1 million in 2003. The decrease in comprehensive income was due to lower unrealized gains on the investment portfolio for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 compared to the same period of 2003 partially offset by higher net income as a result of a return to underwriting profits in 2004.
-Combined Ratio Analysis- (1) Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended September 30, September 30, 2004 2003 2004 2003 Excess and Surplus Lines 91% 99% 86% 92% Specialty Admitted 89% 90% 88% 93% London Insurance Market 138% 101% 119% 102% Other 139% 783% 145% 488% Consolidated 106% 110% 97% 101%
The combined ratios for the Excess and Surplus Lines segment improved for both the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2004 and included approximately $26 million of net losses related to the 2004 hurricanes. The improvement for both periods was due to more favorable development of prior years' loss reserves in 2004 compared to 2003. In 2003, underwriting results included a $50 million increase in prior years' loss reserves at the Investors Brokered Excess and Surplus Lines unit.
The Specialty Admitted segment produced improved underwriting results for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2004 compared to the same periods of 2003. The combined ratios for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2004 included approximately $9 million of net losses from the 2004 hurricanes. The Specialty Admitted segment continues to benefit from lower current year losses, more favorable development of prior years' loss reserves and lower expense ratios.
The London Insurance Market segment's combined ratios for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2004 included approximately $45 million of net losses for the 2004 hurricanes and an $8.0 million provision for dispute resolution. The underwriting loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 also included $30.0 million of loss reserve increases reported during the first quarter of 2004.
The underwriting loss from Other was $4.0 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 compared to $55.9 million for 2003. The Other underwriting loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 was $10.6 million compared to $74.5 million for the same period of 2003. During the third quarter of 2004, the Company completed a review of asbestos and environmental exposures in both its U.S. and international operations. While the legal environment and process for resolving asbestos and environmental claims continues to be adverse, no adjustments to loss reserves resulted from this review. The third quarter of 2003 included $55.0 million of reserve increases for asbestos and environmental exposures.
-Premium Analysis- Quarter Ended September 30, (Dollars in thousands) Gross Written Premiums Earned Premiums 2004 2003 2004 2003 Excess and Surplus Lines $374,137 $398,581 $290,842 $266,800 Specialty Admitted 89,953 81,095 68,632 60,467 London Insurance Market 170,467 183,184 152,145 140,538 Other 5,214 8,574 10,366 8,190 Total $639,771 $671,434 $521,985 $475,995 -Premium Analysis- Nine Months Ended September 30, (Dollars in thousands) Gross Written Premiums Earned Premiums 2004 2003 2004 2003 Excess and Surplus Lines $1,114,808 $1,135,992 $857,512 $750,716 Specialty Admitted 235,728 212,533 196,373 172,541 London Insurance Market 548,139 548,762 465,517 404,753 Other 38,730 37,738 23,401 19,211 Total $1,937,405 $1,935,025 $1,542,803 $1,347,221
Gross written premium for the third quarter of 2004 declined 5% compared to the same period of 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, gross written premium was flat compared to last year. The Company has experienced some market pressure to reduce prices in select lines of business on both new and renewal accounts. When the Company believes the prevailing market rates will not support its underwriting profit targets, the business is not written. The Company will not sacrifice underwriting profits to achieve top line growth and expects 2004 gross premium volume to be flat or slightly down compared to 2003.
Net written premium was $525.4 million for the third quarter of 2004 compared to $523.8 million for the same period of 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, net written premium was $1.6 billion compared to $1.5 billion in 2003. Net retention of gross written premium has increased, consistent with the Company's strategy to retain more of its underwriting profits. Net retention of gross written premium for the third quarter of 2004 was 82% compared to 78% for 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004 net retention of gross written premium was 82% compared to 76% for the same period of 2003. The increase was primarily due to changes in the mix of premium writings and purchasing less reinsurance in both the Excess and Surplus Lines and the London Insurance Market segments during 2004 compared to 2003.
Earned premium for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2004 increased 10% and 15%, respectively, compared to the same periods of 2003. This increase in both periods of 2004 is due to higher gross premium volume over the past two years and higher retentions compared to 2003 in all segments.
Third quarter 2004 net investment income was $51.2 million compared to $46.4 million in the prior year. Net investment income for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 was $147.9 million compared to $137.1 million in 2003. In both periods of 2004, a larger investment portfolio offset lower investment yields.
Net realized losses for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 were $0.3 million compared to $7.4 million in 2003. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, net realized gains were $6.9 million compared to $35.8 million for the same period last year. Variability in the timing of realized and unrealized investment gains and losses is to be expected.
During the quarter ended September 30, 2004, the Company's 2000 federal income tax year was closed. As a result, management determined that tax liabilities were $22.5 million less than previously estimated. The Company recognized a nonrecurring tax benefit of $4.1 million, reduced goodwill related to the Markel International acquisition by $14.7 million and increased additional paid in capital related to closed stock option plans by $3.7 million. Without regard to the nonrecurring benefit, the Company's estimated annual effective tax rate was 29% for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 compared to 33% for the same period in 2003. The Company's estimated annual effective rate differs from the statutory tax rate of 35% primarily as a result of tax exempt investment income.
At September 30, 2004, the Company's investment portfolio increased approximately 11% to $5.9 billion from $5.3 billion at December 31, 2003. The Company reported net unrealized gains, net of taxes, on its fixed maturity and equity investments of $279.1 million at September 30, 2004 compared to $270.8 million at December 31, 2003. Equity securities were $1.1 billion and $968.8 million, respectively, and represented 18% of the total investment portfolio at both September 30, 2004 and December 31, 2003.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $493.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 compared to $450.8 million for the same period in 2003. During the third quarter of 2004, the Company completed a public offering of $200 million of 7.35% senior notes due August 2034. The proceeds were used to repay $110 million outstanding under the Company's revolving credit facility and the remainder will be used for general corporate purposes.
In September 2004, the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) reached a consensus on EITF Issue No. 04-8 (Issue No. 04-8) which addresses the effect of contingently convertible instruments on diluted earnings per share. The Company's convertible notes payable are considered to be a contingently convertible instrument based upon the criteria established by Issue No. 04-8. When Issue No. 04-8 becomes effective, the Company will be required to restate previously reported diluted earnings per share. It is anticipated this rule will take effect during the fourth quarter of 2004. If the proposed accounting treatment for the convertible notes payable had been in effect at the end of the third quarter, the Company's diluted earnings per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2004 would be further diluted by approximately 2%.
This is a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. It also contains general cautionary statements regarding the Company's business, estimates and management assumptions. Future actual results may materially differ from those in these statements because of many factors. Among other things, the impact of the events of September 11, 2001 will depend on the number of insureds and reinsureds affected by the events, the amount and timing of losses incurred and reported and questions of how coverage applies. The occurrence of additional terrorist activities could have a material impact on the Company and the insurance industry. The Company's anticipated premium volume is based on current knowledge and assumes no significant man-made or natural catastrophes, no significant changes in products or personnel and no adverse changes in market conditions. The Company is legally required to offer terrorism insurance and has attempted to manage its exposure. However, in the event of a covered terrorist attack, the Company could sustain material losses. Changing legal and social trends and inherent uncertainties (including but not limited to those uncertainties associated with the Company's asbestos and environmental reserves) in the loss estimation process can adversely impact the adequacy of loss reserves and the allowance for reinsurance recoverables. In addition, industry and economic conditions can affect the ability and/or willingness of reinsurers to pay balances due. The Company continues to closely monitor discontinued lines and reinsurance programs and exposures. Adverse experience in these areas could lead to additional charges. Regulatory actions can impede the Company's ability to charge adequate rates and efficiently allocate capital. Economic conditions, interest rates, foreign exchange rate volatility and concentration of investments can have a significant impact on the market value of fixed maturity and equity investments as well as the carrying value of other assets and liabilities. The Company's premium growth, underwriting and investment results have been and will continue to be potentially materially affected by these factors. Additional factors, which could affect the Company, are discussed in the Company's reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K. By making these forward looking statements, the Company is not intending to become obligated to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or other changes. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward looking statements, which speak only as at their dates.
The quarterly conference call, which will involve discussion of the third quarter financial results and may include forward-looking information, will be held Thursday, October 28, 2004 at approximately 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Any person interested in listening to the call, or a replay of the call, which will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call until Friday, November 5, 2004, should contact Markel's Investor Relations Department at 804-747-0136. Investors, analysts and the general public may also listen to the call free over the Internet through Markel Corporation's corporate web site, http://www.markelcorp.com. A replay of the call will also be available on this web site until Friday, November 5, 2004.
The webcast, the conference call and the content and permitted replays or rebroadcasts thereof, are the exclusive copyrighted property of Markel Corporation and may not be copied, taped, rebroadcast, or published in whole or in part without the express written consent of Markel Corporation.
(1) Management considers both the combined ratio and the actual dollars of underwriting profit (loss) in evaluating the operating performance of its reporting segments. Investment decisions are not made within the underwriting segments. A reconciliation of segment profit (loss) to consolidated operating income is set forth below.
Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, the Company seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.
MARKEL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss) Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended September 30, September 30, 2004 2003 2004 2003 (dollars in thousands, except per share data) OPERATING REVENUES Earned premiums $521,985 $475,995 $1,542,803 $1,347,221 Net investment income 51,222 46,379 147,910 137,079 Net realized gains (losses) from investment sales (253) (7,360) 6,937 35,843 Total Operating Revenues 572,954 515,014 1,697,650 1,520,143 OPERATING EXPENSES Losses and loss adjustment expenses 381,802 378,868 1,009,930 938,820 Underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses 169,255 147,102 491,012 420,895 Amortization of intangible assets - - - 4,127 Total Operating Expenses 551,057 525,970 1,500,942 1,363,842 Operating Income (Loss) 21,897 (10,956) 196,708 156,301 Interest expense 14,495 13,720 40,317 38,756 Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes 7,402 (24,676) 156,391 117,545 Income tax expense (benefit) (6,423) (8,143) 41,253 38,790 Net Income (Loss) $13,825 $(16,533) $115,138 $78,755 OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS) Unrealized gains (losses) on securities, net of taxes Net holding gains (losses) arising during the period $56,133 $(13,224) $12,805 $82,705 Less reclassification adjustments for gains (losses) included in net income (loss) 165 4,784 (4,509) (23,298) Net unrealized gains (losses) 56,298 (8,440) 8,296 59,407 Currency translation adjustments, net of taxes (289) (2,750) (1,000) 3,975 Total Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) 56,009 (11,190) 7,296 63,382 Comprehensive Income (Loss) $69,834 $(27,723) $122,434 $142,137 NET INCOME (LOSS) PER SHARE Basic $1.40 ($1.68) $11.69 $8.00 Diluted $1.40 ($1.68) $11.68 $7.99 Selected Data (dollars and shares in thousands, September 30, December 31, except per share data) 2004 2003 Total investments and cash $5,918,506 $5,349,952 Reinsurance recoverable on paid and unpaid losses 1,731,242 1,770,607 Intangible assets 342,617 357,317 Total assets 9,094,503 8,532,233 Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses 5,347,851 4,929,713 Unearned premiums 1,069,305 1,060,188 Convertible notes payable 93,829 90,601 Long-term debt 609,761 521,510 8.71% Junior Subordinated Debentures 150,000 150,000 Total shareholders' equity 1,505,950 1,382,279 Book value per share $152.93 $140.38 Common shares outstanding 9,847 9,847 Markel Corporation Segment Reporting Disclosures For the Quarters and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2004 and 2003 Segment Gross Written Premium Quarter Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30, 2004 2003 (dollars in thousands) 2004 2003 $374,137 $398,581 Excess and Surplus Lines $1,114,808 $1,135,992 89,953 81,095 Specialty Admitted 235,728 212,533 170,467 183,184 London Insurance Market 548,139 548,762 5,214 8,574 Other 38,730 37,738 $639,771 $671,434 Consolidated $1,937,405 $1,935,025 Segment Net Written Premium Quarter Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30, 2004 2003 (dollars in thousands) 2004 2003 $292,134 $291,435 Excess and Surplus Lines $870,499 $812,910 85,312 76,991 Specialty Admitted 222,527 199,778 142,906 150,257 London Insurance Market 457,018 435,846 5,053 5,101 Other 31,293 26,084 $525,405 $523,784 Consolidated $1,581,337 $1,474,618 Segment Revenues Quarter Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30, 2004 2003 (dollars in thousands) 2004 2003 $290,842 $266,800 Excess and Surplus Lines $857,512 $750,716 68,632 60,467 Specialty Admitted 196,373 172,541 152,145 140,538 London Insurance Market 465,517 404,753 50,969 39,019 Investing 154,847 172,922 10,366 8,190 Other 23,401 19,211 $572,954 $515,014 Consolidated $1,697,650 $1,520,143 Reconciliation of Segment Profit (Loss) to Consolidated Operating Income Quarter Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30, 2004 2003 (dollars in thousands) 2004 2003 $25,031 $1,502 Excess and Surplus Lines $118,958 $58,171 7,912 6,081 Specialty Admitted 22,601 11,809 (58,008) (1,645) London Insurance Market (89,143) (7,966) 50,969 39,019 Investing 154,847 172,922 (4,007) (55,913) Other (10,555) (74,508) - - Amortization of Intangible Assets - (4,127) $21,897 $(10,956) Consolidated $196,708 $156,301 Combined Ratios Quarter Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30, 2004 2003 2004 2003 91% 99% Excess and Surplus Lines 86% 92% 89% 90% Specialty Admitted 88% 93% 138% 101% London Insurance Market 119% 102% 139% 783% Other 145% 488% 106% 110% Consolidated 97% 101%
SOURCE: Markel Corporation
CONTACT: Bruce Kay of Markel Corporation, +1-804-747-0136
Web site: http://www.markelcorp.com