NEW YORK, July 27, 2011 -- Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a premier provider of specialty insurance and insurance-related products and services, today reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011.
Net operating income for the second quarter 2011 decreased 50 percent to $75.4 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared to second quarter 2010 net operating income of $152.2 million, or $1.35 per diluted share. Catastrophe losses and increases in loss frequency due to other weather-related activity at Assurant Specialty Property and reduced earnings at Assurant Health drove the decline.
"Second quarter operating results reflect our continuing efforts to deliver on our customer commitments and achieve long-term value for our shareholders," said Robert B. Pollock, president and CEO of Assurant. "Improved results at Assurant Solutions, ongoing operating improvements at Assurant Health and increased sales at Assurant Employee Benefits were consistent with our priorities for the year. At the same time, results reflect the impact of storm-related claims as we quickly responded to help our customers recover and rebuild."
Net income for the second quarter 2011 increased to $165.9 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, compared to second quarter 2010 net income of $164.7 million, or $1.46 per diluted share. Net income benefited from an $80.0 million reduction in a valuation allowance associated with deferred tax assets. After-tax net realized gains on investments were $10.5 million in the quarter, compared to $12.5 million in second quarter 2010.
Net earned premiums, fees and other income in the quarter decreased slightly to $1.9 billion, primarily due to a decline in premiums at Assurant Health.
Net investment income in second quarter 2011 decreased slightly to $173.8 million, compared to $175.2 million in second quarter 2010, as investment yields declined.
Following is a Reconciliation of Net Operating Income to Net Income for Assurant.
Net operating income increased in second quarter 2011 due to improved domestic and international underwriting experience. The international combined ratio declined, reflecting improved loss experience in the U.K. and growth in Latin America. The domestic combined ratio declined, benefiting from favorable loss experience in the service contract business and reduced expenses.
Net earned premiums, fees and other income declined slightly in second quarter 2011. Growth in both domestic and international premiums was offset by the continued run-off of the domestic credit business and service contract premiums from former clients. Revenues continued to grow in preneed insurance.
Net operating income declined in the quarter, reflecting $42.7 million of after-tax reportable catastrophe losses compared to $5.0 million in second quarter 2010. Second quarter 2011 results also were affected by additional increases in loss frequency primarily due to non-catastrophe weather-related activity.
Net earned premiums, fees and other income declined in second quarter 2011 due to increases in premiums ceded to clients and higher catastrophe reinsurance premiums. Increased premiums from new lender-placed homeowners' clients added in 2010, loan growth by existing clients and growth in renters insurance premiums partially offset the decline.
Results for second quarter 2011 continued to reflect the impact of health care reform. Net operating income was reduced by $10.9 million after-tax due to an accrual for premium rebates associated with minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements. Expenses continued to decline as a result of organizational and operational changes.
Net earned premiums, fees and other income for second quarter 2011 declined due partially to a $16.7 million premium rebate accrual. During the quarter, premiums for Assurant Health's affordable choice and supplemental products increased.
Net operating income in second quarter 2011 decreased, reflecting slower disability recovery rates and less favorable life insurance loss experience compared to 2010. Improved dental business results partially offset these declines. Second quarter 2011 results also were unfavorably affected by a previously disclosed decrease in the reserve discount rate for new long-term disability claims. Second quarter 2010 results included a $4.4 million after-tax restructuring charge.
Net earned premiums, fees and other income decreased for the quarter primarily due to pricing actions on a block of assumed disability business and lower sales in 2010. Premium growth in voluntary and supplemental products partially offset the decline.
Net operating loss increased mainly from higher tax expense during second quarter 2011. Second quarter 2010 results included a $2.9 million after-tax restructuring charge.
Corporate capital was approximately $650 million as of June 30, 2011, up from $585 million at March 31, 2011. During second quarter 2011, Assurant acquired SureDeposit, a leading provider of security deposit alternatives, to broaden Specialty Property's product offerings.
Assurant repurchased 3.0 million of its common shares, or 3 percent of the common stock outstanding at the end of first quarter 2011, for $110.4 million. Through July 22, 2011, the Company repurchased an additional 512,000 shares for approximately $18.0 million, with $536.4 million remaining in the repurchase authorization. The Company also raised its quarterly dividend to $0.18 from $0.16 per common share during the second quarter.
Stockholders' equity, excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI), was
$4.5 billion at June 30, 2011, flat versus Dec. 31, 2010.
Book value per diluted share2, excluding AOCI, increased 7.1 percent to $46.16, from $43.08 at Dec. 31, 2010. AOCI improved by $95.7 million to $381.3 million as of June 30, 2011 from Dec. 31, 2010.
Annualized operating return on average equity (ROE)3, excluding AOCI, was 9.6 percent for the first six months of 2011, compared to full-year operating ROE, excluding AOCI, of 12.1 percent in 2010.
As of June 30, 2011, total assets were approximately $26.8 billion. The ratio of debt to total capital, excluding AOCI, declined slightly to 17.8 percent at June 30, 2011, versus 17.9 percent at Dec. 31, 2010, while the asset leverage ratio was 2.8 to 1.
Earnings Conference Call
Assurant will host a conference call on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. ET with webcast access available via the Investor Relations section of Assurant's website, www.assurant.com. The live and archived webcast along with supplemental information will be available in the Investor Relations section of Assurant's website.
Assurant is a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. The four key businesses -- Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits -- partner with clients who are leaders in their industries and build leadership positions in a number of specialty insurance market segments. The Assurant business units provide debt protection administration; credit-related insurance; warranties and service contracts; pre-funded funeral insurance; lender-placed homeowners insurance; manufactured housing homeowners insurance; individual health and small employer group health insurance; group dental insurance; group disability insurance; and group life insurance.
Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. www.assurant.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements included in this news release and its exhibits, particularly those anticipating future financial performance, business prospects, growth and operating strategies and similar matters, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the fact that they may use words such as "will," "anticipate," "expect," "estimate," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target," "forecast," or the negative versions of those words and terms with a similar meaning. Our actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements in this earnings release or the exhibits as a result of new information or future events or developments.
The following risk factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those currently estimated by management: (i) the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and the rules and regulations thereunder on our health and employee benefits businesses; (ii) actions by governmental agencies that could result in the reduction of the premium rates we charge; (iii) loss of significant client relationships, distribution sources and contracts; (iv) failure to attract and retain sales representatives; (v) losses due to natural and man-made catastrophes; (vi) a decline in our credit or financial strength ratings (including the risk of ratings downgrades in the insurance industry); (vii) deterioration in the Company's market capitalization compared to its book value that could result in further impairment of goodwill; (viii) unfavorable outcomes in litigation and/or regulatory investigations that could negatively affect our business and reputation; (ix) current or new laws and regulations that could increase our costs and/or decrease our revenues; (x) general global economic, financial market and political conditions (including difficult conditions in financial, capital and credit markets, the global economic slowdown, fluctuations in interest rates, mortgage rates, monetary policies, unemployment and inflationary pressure); (xi) inadequacy of reserves established for future claims losses; (xii) failure to predict or manage benefits, claims and other costs; (xiii) uncertain tax positions; (xiv) fluctuations in exchange rates and other risks related to our international operations; (xv) unavailability, inadequacy and unaffordable pricing of reinsurance coverage; (xvi) diminished value of invested assets in our investment portfolio (due to, among other things, volatility in financial markets, the global economic slowdown, credit and liquidity risk, other than temporary impairments and inability to target an appropriate overall risk level); (xvii) insolvency of third parties to whom we have sold or may sell businesses through reinsurance or modified co-insurance; (xviii) inability of reinsurers to meet their obligations; (xix) credit risk of some of our agents in Assurant Specialty Property and Assurant Solutions; (xx) failure to effectively maintain and modernize our information systems; (xxi) failure to protect client information and privacy; (xxii) failure to find and integrate suitable acquisitions and new insurance ventures; (xxiii) inability of our subsidiaries to pay sufficient dividends; (xxiv) failure to provide for succession of senior management and key executives; and (xxv) significant competitive pressures in our businesses and (xxvi) cyclicality of the insurance industry. For a detailed discussion of the risk factors that could affect our actual results, please refer to the risk factors identified in our SEC reports, including, but not limited to, our 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Assurant uses the following non-GAAP financial measures to analyze the Company's operating performance for the periods presented in this news release. Because Assurant's calculation of these measures may differ from similar measures used by other companies, investors should be careful when comparing Assurant's non-GAAP financial measures to those of other companies.
(1) Assurant uses net operating income as an important measure of the Company's operating performance. As shown in the net operating income reconciliation table, net operating income equals net income excluding net realized gains (losses) on investments and other unusual and/or infrequent items. The Company believes net operating income provides investors a valuable measure of the performance of the Company's ongoing business, because it excludes both the effect of net realized gains (losses) on investments that tend to be highly variable from period to period, and those events that are unusual and/or unlikely to recur.
(2) Assurant uses book value per diluted share excluding AOCI, as an important measure of the Company's stockholder value. Book value per diluted share excluding AOCI equals total stockholders' equity excluding AOCI divided by diluted shares outstanding. The Company believes book value per diluted share excluding AOCI provides investors a valuable measure of stockholder value because it excludes the effect of unrealized gains (losses) on investments, which tend to be highly variable from period to period and other accumulated comprehensive income items. The comparable GAAP measure for this included measure would be book value per diluted share, defined as total stockholders' equity divided by diluted shares outstanding. Book value per diluted share was $50.07 as of June 30, 2011, as shown in the reconciliation table below.
(3) Assurant uses ROE, excluding AOCI, as an important measure of the Company's operating performance. Annualized operating ROE equals net operating income for the periods presented divided by average stockholders' equity for the year-to-date period, excluding AOCI, and then the return is annualized, if necessary. The Company believes annualized operating ROE, excluding AOCI, provides investors a valuable measure of the performance of the Company's ongoing business, because it excludes the effect of net realized gains (losses) on investments that tend to be highly variable from period-to-period and those events that are unusual and/or unlikely to recur. The comparable GAAP measure for this included measure would be annualized GAAP return on equity, defined as the annualized return of net income divided by average stockholders' equity for the period. Consolidated annualized GAAP ROE for the three and six months ended June 30, 2011, was 13.8 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively, as shown in the following reconciliation table.
A summary of net operating income disclosed items is included on page 20 of the Company's Financial Supplement, which is available in the Investor Relations section of Assurant's website at www.assurant.com.
Director, Media Relations and
Investor Relations Contacts:
Senior Vice President
Brian D. Koppy