PEMBROKE, Bermuda, May 2, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:ENH) today reported a net loss of $87.4 million and $2.25 per diluted common share for the first quarter of 2011 versus net income of $55.8 million and $0.91 per diluted common share for the first quarter of 2010.
Operating highlights for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 were as follows:
- Net premiums written of $798.9 million, an increase of 13.6% over the same period in 2010;
- Combined ratio of 139.3%, which included 12.7 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development and 48.4 percentage points of catastrophe losses related to the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, and the Australian floods;
- Net investment income of $52.5 million, a decrease of $4.0 million from the same period in 2010;
- Operating loss, which excludes after-tax realized investment gains and losses and foreign exchange gains and losses, of $96.6 million and $2.47 per fully diluted common share;
- Operating loss on average common equity for the quarter of 4.1%; and
- Book value per diluted common share of $51.52, down 2.3% from December 31, 2010.
David Cash, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our first quarter results were impacted by the exceptional frequency and severity of global catastrophe losses that occurred. I am pleased with Endurance's performance through these events, as our losses were within our expectations and tolerances for these types of events, a testament to the quality of our underwriting and risk management."
Operating highlights for Endurance's Insurance segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 were as follows:
- Net premiums written of $432.3 million, an increase of 23.9% from the first quarter of 2010;
- Combined ratio of 93.5%, an increase of 1.8 percentage points from the first quarter of 2010; and
- Favorable prior year loss reserve development of 21.3 percentage points during the current period, compared to 12.1 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development in the first quarter of 2010.
The increase of $83.4 million in net premiums written in the Insurance segment in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the first quarter of 2010 was predominantly due to growth in the agriculture line of business driven by agriculture commodity prices that were significantly higher than a year ago. Within the other Insurance segment lines of business, modest growth in the casualty and professional lines of business was partially offset by modest declines in the property and healthcare lines of business.
The increase in the Insurance segment combined ratio for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 was driven by higher net loss and general and administrative expense ratios, partially offset by a lower acquisition expense ratio. The increase in the net loss ratio was driven by higher expected current year losses in the agriculture line of business from winter wheat as growing conditions were less favorable than a year ago and from fire and winter storm losses in the property line of business. These increases were partially offset by higher levels of favorable prior year reserve development, principally in the agriculture line of business. The general and administrative expense ratio increased compared to the same period a year ago from reduced expense reimbursements in the agriculture line of business and due to increased staffing to support recently added lines of business. The current period's acquisition expense ratio improved over the prior period largely due to increased agriculture net premiums earned, which incurs lower acquisition expenses.
The Insurance segment's combined ratio in the first quarter of 2011 benefited from $34.6 million, or 21.3 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development, compared to $17.7 million, or 12.1 percentage points, for the same period a year ago. Favorable loss reserve development emerged in the first quarter of 2011 in all of the Insurance segment's lines of business as claims have not materialized as originally estimated.
Operating highlights for Endurance's Reinsurance segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 were as follows:
- Net premiums written of $366.6 million, an increase of 3.6% from the first quarter of 2010;
- Combined ratio of 173.1%, an increase of 72.0 percentage points from the first quarter of 2010; and
- Favorable prior year loss reserve development of 6.4 percentage points during the current period, compared to 9.5 percentage points of favorable prior year loss reserve development in the first quarter of 2010.
The $12.6 million increase in net premiums written in the Reinsurance segment during the first quarter of 2011 over the first quarter of 2010 resulted primarily from growth in the catastrophe, property and casualty lines of business. The growth in catastrophe net premiums written was largely attributable to the renewal of business related to the Glacier Re transaction entered into in September 2010. Within the property and casualty lines of business, growth was driven by increases in participation on some renewals and a small number of newly written specialty casualty treaties. Partially offsetting this growth was a decline in net premiums written within the surety and other line of business from reduced participations on certain renewal contracts and from several large contracts that were not renewed due to competitive market conditions.
The combined ratio in the Reinsurance segment for the current period increased compared to the same period in 2010 due to a higher net loss ratio which included 84.1 points of catastrophe losses related to the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan and the Queensland floods in Australia, compared to 29.6 points of catastrophe losses in the first quarter of 2010 and higher levels of IBNR reserves for short tailed lines given the higher frequency of catastrophe events in the first quarter of 2011.
Endurance's net investment income decreased 7.0% or $4.0 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. During the first quarter of 2011, Endurance's net investment income included gains of $13.8 million on its other investments, which include alternative investment and high yield loan funds, as compared to gains of $17.0 million in the first quarter of 2010. Investment income generated from Endurance's fixed maturity investments declined by $1.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. This decline resulted from lower reinvestment rates over the past 12 months driven by lower market yields, partially offset by higher average investment portfolio balances. The ending book yield on Endurance's fixed maturity investments at March 31, 2011 was 3.25%, up from 3.13% as of December 31, 2010 but below the book yield of 3.33% at March 31, 2010.
At March 31, 2011, the composition of Endurance's investment portfolio was 83.3% in fixed maturity securities, 8.8% in cash and cash equivalents, 0.8% in short term investments, 6.7% in other investments and 0.4% in equities. Endurance's fixed maturity portfolio had an average credit quality of AA and a duration of 2.44 years. Endurance's available for sale portfolio was in an unrealized gain position of $121.4 million at March 31, 2011, a reduction of $8.4 million from December 31, 2010. Endurance recorded net realized and unrealized investment gains, including impairment losses recognized in earnings, of $2.1 million during the first quarter of 2011 compared to net realized and unrealized investment gains of $2.7 million during the same period in 2010.
Endurance ended the first quarter of 2011 with cash and invested assets of $6.0 billion, which represents a 2.7% decrease from December 31, 2010. Net operating cash flow was $181.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 versus $127.7 million for the same period in 2010.
Capitalization and Shareholders' Equity
At March 31, 2011, Endurance's shareholders' equity was $2.41 billion or $51.52 per diluted common share versus $2.85 billion or $52.74 per diluted common share at December 31, 2010.
On January 28, 2011, Endurance repurchased 7,143,056 ordinary shares and options to purchase an additional 10,000 ordinary shares held by two affiliated funds of Perry Corp., which was a founding shareholder of Endurance. The aggregate repurchase price for the ordinary shares and the options was $321.5 million. Including the repurchase of ordinary shares and options from Perry Corp., Endurance repurchased 7.6 million of its common shares and share equivalents for an aggregate repurchase price of $340.8 million during the three months ended March 31, 2011.
Endurance will host a conference call on May 3, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time to discuss its financial results. The conference call can be accessed via telephone by dialing (888) 300-2318 or (719) 325-2391 (international) and entering pass code: 7725143. Those who intend to participate in the conference call should register at least ten minutes in advance to ensure access to the call. A telephone replay of the conference call will be available through May 17, 2011 by dialing (888) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820 (international) and entering the pass code: 7725143.
The public may access a live broadcast of the conference call at the "Investors" section of Endurance's website, . Following the live broadcast, an archived version will continue to be available on Endurance's website.
A copy of Endurance's financial supplement for the first quarter of 2011 will be available on Endurance's website at shortly after the release of earnings.
Operating (loss) income, operating return on average common equity, operating (loss) income per diluted common share, operating (loss) income allocated to common shareholders and the combined ratio excluding prior year net loss reserve development are non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of these measures to the appropriate GAAP measures are included in the attached tables.
About Endurance Specialty Holdings
Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. is a global specialty provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance. Through its operating subsidiaries, Endurance writes property, casualty, healthcare liability, agriculture, workers' compensation and professional lines of insurance and property, catastrophe, casualty, agriculture, aerospace and marine, and surety and other specialty lines of reinsurance. We maintain excellent financial strength as evidenced by the ratings of A (Excellent) from A.M. Best (XV size category) and A (Strong) from Standard and Poor's on our principal operating subsidiaries. Endurance's headquarters are located at Wellesley House, 90 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda and its mailing address is Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd., Suite No. 784, No. 48 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda. For more information about Endurance, please visit .
Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements
Some of the statements in this press release may include forward-looking statements which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such statements may include forward-looking statements both with respect to us in general and the insurance and reinsurance sectors specifically, both as to underwriting and investment matters. Statements which include the words "should," "expect," "intend," "plan," "believe," "project," "anticipate," "seek," "will," and similar statements of a future or forward-looking nature identify forward-looking statements in this press release for purposes of the U.S. federal securities laws or otherwise. We intend these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
All forward-looking statements address matters that involve risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, there are or may be important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the effects of competitors' pricing policies, greater frequency or severity of claims and loss activity, changes in market conditions in the agriculture insurance industry, termination of or changes in the terms of the U.S. multiple peril crop insurance program, a decreased demand for property and casualty insurance or reinsurance, changes in the availability, cost or quality of reinsurance or retrocessional coverage, our inability to renew business previously underwritten or acquired, our inability to maintain our applicable financial strength ratings, our inability to effectively integrate acquired operations, uncertainties in our reserving process, changes to our tax status, changes in insurance regulations, reduced acceptance of our existing or new products and services, a loss of business from and credit risk related to our broker counterparties, assessments for high risk or otherwise uninsured individuals, possible terrorism or the outbreak of war, a loss of key personnel, political conditions, changes in insurance regulation, changes in accounting policies, our investment performance, the valuation of our invested assets, a breach of our investment guidelines, the unavailability of capital in the future, developments in the world's financial and capital markets and our access to such markets, government intervention in the insurance and reinsurance industry, illiquidity in the credit markets, changes in general economic conditions and other factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation publicly to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
CONTACT: Investor Relations Phone: (441) 278-0988 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org