HCC Insurance Holdings Reports Record Earnings for the Third Quarter and the First Nine Months of 2014

Highlights:

  • Record net earnings of $140.3 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, for third quarter
  • Record net earnings of $345.3 million, or $3.45 per diluted share, for first nine months
  • GAAP combined ratio of 80.1% for third quarter and 82.2% for first nine months
  • Annualized return on equity of 14.4% for third quarter and 12.2% for first nine months
  • Annualized operating return on equity(a) of 11.3% for third quarter and 10.9% for first nine months
  • Gross written premium increased 8% to $730.8 million for third quarter and 5% to $2.3 billion for first nine months
  • Book value per share increased 8% for first nine months to $39.64

HOUSTON, Oct. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today released results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2014.

Net earnings were $140.3 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2014, compared to $98.2 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2013. Net earnings were $345.3 million, or $3.45 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2014, versus $292.2 million, or $2.90 per diluted share, in the same period of 2013.

The Company's combined ratio was 80.1% for the third quarter of 2014, compared to 83.5% for the same quarter of 2013. The combined ratio was 82.2% for the first nine months of 2014, versus 84.1% for the same period of 2013. The net paid loss ratio was 59.5% for the first nine months of 2014, compared to 52.6% for the same period of 2013. HCC had net favorable loss development of $30.7 million in the first nine months of 2014, compared to $39.6 million in the same period of 2013.

"HCC is having another excellent year following its record performance in 2013, driven once again by outstanding underwriting performance. In addition to the solid performance of our existing businesses, we are excited about HCC's entry into the crop business in 2015 with the acquisition of ProAg. With this acquisition, we continue to expand our portfolio of largely non-correlated Specialty businesses," said Christopher J.B. Williams, HCC's Chief Executive Officer.

The 2014 results included accident year pretax net catastrophe losses of $4.8 million and $14.3 million in the third quarter and first nine months, respectively, which reduced net earnings by $0.03 and $0.09 per share in the respective periods. The 2013 results included pretax net catastrophe losses of $17.9 million and $44.5 million in the third quarter and first nine months, respectively, which reduced net earnings by $0.12 and $0.29 per share in the respective periods.

Gross written premium increased 8% to $730.8 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared to $678.9 million in the same quarter of 2013. Net written premium increased 12% to $585.2 million in the third quarter of 2014, versus $521.7 million in the same quarter of 2013. Net earned premium increased 5% to $586.9 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared to $556.7 million in the same quarter of 2013.

In the first nine months of 2014, compared to the same period of 2013, gross written premium increased 5% to $2.3 billion; net written premium increased 5% to $1.8 billion; and net earned premium increased 3% to $1.7 billion.

Investment income was $54.2 million in the third quarter of 2014, which was flat compared to the same quarter of 2013, and increased to $167.5 million in the first nine months of 2014, versus $165.6 million in the same period of 2013. As of September 30, 2014, HCC's fixed maturity securities portfolio had an average rating of AA, a duration of 4.8 years and an average long-term tax equivalent yield of 4.3%.

HCC generated cash flow from operations of $360.4 million in the first nine months of 2014, compared to $271.4 million in the same period of 2013. The Company's cash flow was decreased by U.S. Surety collateral repayments of $21.8 million in 2014 and $127.9 million in 2013. At September 30, 2014, the Company had $321.7 million of cash and short-term investments and $374.1 million of available capacity under its $825.0 million revolving loan facility.

The Company purchased 3.0 million shares of its common stock during the first nine months of 2014 for $138.5 million at an average cost of $46.69 per share.

As of September 30, 2014, total assets were $10.8 billion, shareholders' equity was $3.9 billion and the Company's debt to total capital ratio was 16.1%.

For further information about HCC's 2014 third quarter earnings results, see the supplemental financial schedules that are available in the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at http://ir.hcc.com.

HCC will hold an open conference call beginning at 8:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 29. To participate, the number for domestic calls is (800) 374-0290 and the number for international calls is (706) 634-0161. There will also be a live webcast available on a listen-only basis that can be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at http://ir.hcc.com. The webcast replay will be archived in the Investor Relations section of the HCC website through Friday, January 30, 2015.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. is a leading specialty insurer with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. HCC's major domestic and international insurance companies have financial strength ratings of "AA (Very Strong)" from Standard & Poor's Corporation, "A+ (Superior)" from A.M. Best Company, Inc., "AA (Very Strong)" from Fitch Ratings, and "A1 (Good Security)" from Moody's Investors Service, Inc.

For more information about HCC, please visit http://www.hcc.com.

a) Non-GAAP Financial Measure

Annualized operating return on equity is a non-GAAP financial measure under Regulation G and is calculated as net earnings excluding after-tax net realized investment gain/loss, other-than-temporary impairment credit losses, and foreign currency benefit/expense (collectively, operating earnings) divided by average shareholders' equity excluding accumulated other comprehensive income. See the supplemental financial schedules for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to corresponding GAAP amounts. Management believes annualized operating return on equity is a useful measure for understanding the Company's profitability relative to shareholders' equity before consideration of investment-related gains/losses and foreign currency benefit/expense, both of which management excludes when evaluating operating results internally.

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made under "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The types of risks and uncertainties which may affect the Company are set forth in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT: Doug Busker, Director of Investor Relations HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. Telephone: (713) 996-1192

Source:HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.