AmTrust Reports Fourth Quarter 2016 Net Income, Reflecting Strengthening Of Reserves

By: Jeff Hatch

February 27, 2017

AmTrust today announced fourth quarter 2016 net income attributable to common stockholders of $98.7 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, compared to $59.7 million, or $0.35 per diluted share in the fourth quarter 2015. For the fourth quarter 2016, operating earnings was $66.3 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to $115.7 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter 2015. The decrease in net income attributable to common stockholders and operating earnings reflects a reserve charge of $65.0 million, or approximately $0.24 per diluted share, primarily related to strengthening of prior year loss and loss adjustment reserves in our Specialty Program segment.

"Our fourth quarter caps a strong year in which we completed and integrated several strategic acquisitions, delivered higher investment returns, achieved record revenue, strengthened our balance sheet through preferred stock issuances, returned more than $262 million of capital to shareholders in the form of common share repurchases and dividends, and produced book value per share of $15.15 at year-end, an increase of over 17% from a year ago," said Barry Zyskind, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AmTrust. "We are very pleased with the underlying operational performance of our business in the fourth quarter and in 2016, a year in which we continued to maintain high levels of policy retention and maintain underwriting discipline. While our expense ratio was elevated in the fourth quarter, due largely to business mix as well as higher costs related to increased year-end resources, expenses were otherwise in line with our net earned premium growth."

"Our combined ratio of 95.5% in the fourth quarter reflects our continued profitability, particularly in our two largest segments, Small Commercial Business and Specialty Risk and Extended Warranty, but we are strengthening prior year loss and loss adjustment reserves in our Specialty Program segment following extensive internal actuarial reviews. As we have noted in the past, this segment has underperformed relative to our expectations, which led us to install new leadership and to adjust our approach to writing programs for commercial auto, general liability, and workers' compensation. We are confident that we are adequately reserved on our consolidated book of business. We have a solid foundation to build upon in 2017, and are committed to creating shareholder value through disciplined growth and steady returns."

Fourth Quarter 2016 Results

Total revenue was $1.42 billion, an increase of $219.4 million, or 18%, from $1.20 billion in the fourth quarter 2015. Gross written premium was $1.91 billion, an increase of $299.8 million, or 19%, from $1.61 billion in the fourth quarter 2015. Net written premium was $1.15 billion, an increase of $81 million, or 8%, compared to $1.07 billion in the fourth quarter 2015. Net earned premium was $1.22 billion, an increase of $157.7 million, or 15%, from $1.06 billion in the fourth quarter 2015. The combined ratio was 95.5% compared to 91.9% in fourth quarter 2015.

Full Year 2016 Results

Total revenue was $5.45 billion, an increase of $837.7 million, or 18%, from $4.62 billion in 2015. Gross written premium was $7.95 billion, an increase of $1,149.7 million, or 17%, from $6.80 billion in 2015. Net written premium was $4.85 billion, an increase of $591.3 million, or 14%, from $4.26 billion in 2015. Net earned premium of $4.67 billion increased $646.2 million, or 16%, from $4.02 billion in 2015. The combined ratio was 92.1% compared to 91.1% in 2015.

A summary of results is listed below along with a link to the earnings release. 

Financial Highlights

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Highlights

Fourth quarter gross written premium of $1.91 billion and net earned premium of $1.22 billion, up 19% and 15%, respectively, from the fourth quarter 2015

Fourth quarter service and fee income of $151.0 million, up 26% from the fourth quarter 2015

Fourth quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $98.7 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, compared to $59.7 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter 2015

Fourth quarter operating earnings of $66.3 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to $115.7 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter 2015

Current period net income attributable to common stockholders and operating earnings include a reserve charge of $65.0 million, or approximately $0.24 per diluted share;

Fourth quarter and full year combined ratio of 95.5% and 92.1%, respectively

Full year 2016 capital returned to shareholders of $262.4 million, including $152.3 million of common share repurchases

Filed Under: earnings, financial, profitability, Q4, services, Warrantech