HCI Group Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

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TAMPA, Fla., May 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE:HCI) reported results today for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

First Quarter 2014 - Financial Results

Income available to common stockholders in the first quarter of 2014 totaled $17.6 million or $1.44 diluted earnings per common share compared with $15.5 million or $1.31 diluted earnings per common share in the fourth quarter of 2013, and $20.4 million or $1.81 diluted earnings per common share in the first quarter of 2013.

Gross premiums earned in the first quarter of 2014 totaled $93.9 million compared with $91.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $82.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. The increase in 2014 compared with the first quarter of 2013 was primarily due to policies assumed from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in November 2013.

Premiums ceded in the first quarter of 2014 were 29.3% of the company's gross premiums earned, compared with 30.6% and 26.6%, respectively, during the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013.

Net premiums earned (defined as gross premiums earned less premiums ceded to reinsurance companies) in the first quarter of 2014 totaled $66.4 million compared with $63.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $60.6 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Net investment income in the first quarter of 2014 was $1.1 million compared with $0.7 million and $0.1 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013.

Losses and loss adjustment expenses during the first quarter of 2014 were $18.6 million compared with $17.3 million and $15.9 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013.

Policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses in the first quarter of 2014 were $9.1 million compared with $9.5 million and $6.0 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013. The increase in 2014 as compared to first quarter 2013 was primarily attributable to the policies assumed from Citizens in 2012 and 2013 that renewed in the first quarter 2014. The associated premiums were subject to commissions and premium taxes.

Other operating expenses, which include a variety of general and administrative expenses, totaled $9.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $12.0 million and $6.1 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013. The increase in 2014 as compared with the first quarter of 2013 is primarily attributable to an increase of $3.3 million in compensation and related expenses of which $1.7 million relates to stock-based compensation. The decrease in 2014 as compared with the fourth quarter of 2013 is primarily attributable to approximately $1.3 million of additional compensation and related costs and $1.0 million of charitable contributions in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Interest expense from the company's senior notes issued in 2013 totaled $2.6 million in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $1.2 million and $0.7 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter and first quarter of 2013. The company's 3.875% convertible notes were issued in December 2013.

At March 31, 2014, the company had $172.4 million of total investments compared with $146.0 million at December 31, 2013.

First Quarter 2014 - Financial Ratios

The loss ratio applicable to the three months ended March 31, 2014 (losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred related to net premiums earned) was 28.0% compared with 27.4% for the three months ended December 31, 2013 and 26.2% for the three months ended March 31, 2013.

The expense ratio applicable to the three months ended March 31, 2014 (defined as underwriting expenses, interest and other operating expenses related to net premiums earned) was 32.0% compared with 35.7% for the three months ended December 31, 2013 and 21.1% for the three months ended March 31, 2013.

Expressed as a total of all expenses in relation to net premiums earned, the combined loss and expense ratio to net premiums earned was 60.0% in the first quarter of 2014 compared with 63.1% for the three months ended December 31, 2013 and 47.3% for the three months ended March 31, 2013.

Share Repurchase Plan

During the three months ended March 31, 2014, the company repurchased and retired a total of 210,836 shares at a total cost, inclusive of fees and commissions, of approximately $7.8 million, or $37.02 per share.

Management Commentary

"The first quarter of 2014 was another successful quarter for HCI Group," said Paresh Patel, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our core insurance operations continue to perform at industry leading levels and our information technology division has begun rolling out software that we believe will enhance growth and profitability prospects."

Conference Call

HCI Group will hold a conference call later today (May 1, 2014) to discuss these financial results. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paresh Patel and Chief Financial Officer Richard Allen will host the call starting at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. A question and answer session will follow management's presentation.

Dial-in number: (877) 407-8033
International number: (201) 689-8033

Investors or analysts that wish to participate in the Q&A portion of the call should contact Kevin Mitchell at kmitchell@hcigroup.com or (813) 405-3603.

The conference call will be simulcast and available for replay via the investor section of the company's website at www.hcigroup.com.

Please call the conference telephone number 5 to 10 minutes before the start time. An operator will register your name and organization. If you have any difficulty connecting with the conference call, please contact Liolios Group at (949) 574-3860.

A replay of the call will be available after 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on the same day through June 1, 2014.

Toll-free replay number: (877) 660-6853
International replay number: (201) 612-7415
Conference ID: 13580109

About HCI Group, Inc.

HCI Group, Inc. owns subsidiaries engaged in diverse, yet complementary business activities, including homeowners' insurance, reinsurance, real estate and information technology services. The company's largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida.

The company's common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCI" and are included in the Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Its 8% Senior Notes trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCJ." For more information about HCI Group, visit www.hcigroup.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "confident," "prospects" and "project" and other similar words and expressions are intended to signify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and conditions but rather are subject to various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance, for example, that information technology will enhance growth and profitability prospects. Some of these risks and uncertainties are identified in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should any risks or uncertainties develop into actual events, these developments could have material adverse effects on the company's business, financial condition and results of operations. HCI Group, Inc. disclaims all obligations to update any forward-looking statements.

HCI GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Amounts in thousands, except share amounts)
At March 31, 2014 At December 31, 2013
(Unaudited)
Assets
Fixed-maturity securities, available for sale, at fair value (amortized cost: $129,680 and $110,738, respectively) $ 133,113 112,151
Equity securities, available for sale, at fair value (cost: $22,174 and $17,248, respectively) 22,872 17,649
Other investments 16,450 16,228
Total investments 172,435 146,028
Cash and cash equivalents 296,576 293,398
Accrued interest and dividends receivable 1,338 1,133
Premiums receivable 18,033 14,674
Prepaid reinsurance premiums 15,217 28,066
Deferred policy acquisition costs 14,184 14,071
Property and equipment, net 12,931 13,132
Other assets 19,101 15,814
Total assets $ 549,815 526,316
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
Losses and loss adjustment expenses $ 43,597 43,686
Unearned premiums 156,959 171,907
Advance premiums 17,567 4,504
Assumed reinsurance balances payable 994 4,660
Accrued expenses 8,567 4,032
Dividends payable 3,190 19
Income taxes payable 8,592 543
Deferred income taxes, net 2,586 2,740
Long-term debt 127,559 126,932
Other liabilities 11,492 6,772
Total liabilities 381,103 365,795
Stockholders' equity:
7% Series A cumulative convertible preferred stock (liquidation preference $10.00 per share), no par value, 1,500,000 shares authorized, 10,206 and 110,684 shares issued and outstanding in 2014 and 2013, respectively
Series B junior participating preferred stock (no par value, 400,000 shares authorized, no shares issued or outstanding)
Preferred stock (no par value 18,100,000 shares authorized, no shares issued or outstanding)
Common stock, (no par value, 40,000,000 shares authorized, 10,970,108 and 10,939,268 shares issued and outstanding in 2014 and 2013, respectively)
Additional paid-in capital 44,148 48,966
Retained income 122,026 110,441
Accumulated other comprehensive income, net of taxes 2,538 1,114
Total stockholders' equity 168,712 160,521
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 549,815 526,316
HCI GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income
(Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)
Three Months Ended
March 31, December 31, March 31,
2014 2013 2013
(Unaudited)
Revenue
Gross premiums earned $ 93,888 91,370 82,547
Premiums ceded (27,508) (27,942) (21,996)
Net premiums earned 66,380 63,428 60,551
Net investment income 1,059 655 139
Policy fee income 257 85 772
Net realized investment gains 4 37 20
Other 417 1,047 329
Total revenue 68,117 65,252 61,811
Expenses
Losses and loss adjustment expenses 18,565 17,348 15,872
Policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses 9,129 9,456 5,968
Interest expense 2,574 1,228 686
Other operating expenses 9,539 11,988 6,115
Total expenses 39,807 40,020 28,641
Income before income taxes 28,310 25,232 33,170
Income tax expense 10,690 9,670 12,783
Net income $ 17,620 15,562 20,387
Preferred stock dividends 3 (16) (34)
Income available to common stockholders $ 17,623 15,546 20,353
Basic earnings per common share $ 1.60 1.36 1.87
Diluted earnings per common share $ 1.44 1.31 1.81
Dividends per common share $ 0.28 0.27 0.23

CONTACT: Company Contact: Kevin Mitchell, Vice President of Investor Relations HCI Group, Inc. Tel (813) 405-3603 kmitchell@hcigroup.com Investor Relations Contact: Matt Glover or Michael Koehler Liolios Group, Inc. Tel (949) 574-3860 hci@liolios.com

Source:HCI Group, Inc.