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Independence Holding Company Announces 43% Increase in 2015 First-Quarter Results and 29% Increase in Annual Dividend Rate

STAMFORD, Conn., May 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) today reported 2015 first-quarter results.

Financial Results

Independence Holding Company (“IHC”) reported a 43% increase in net income per diluted share of $.30, or $5,219,000, for the three months ended March 31, 2015 compared to $.21 per diluted share, or $3,701,000, for the three months ended March 31, 2014. The Company reported revenues of $134,265,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2015 compared to revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2014 of $141,072,000. The decrease in revenues is primarily due to the runoff of major medical business from lines that we exited largely as a result of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, offset in part by an increase in medical stop-loss and specialty health premiums.

Chief Executive Officer’s Comments

Roy T. K. Thung, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has voted to increase the cash dividend by 29% from $.07 per share to $.09 per share annually, effective with the next semi-annual dividend of $.045 per share in June.

Our significant earnings increase in the current quarter was largely driven by continued growth in earned premium and significantly increased earnings from our direct medical stop-loss, by far our largest line of business, and increased earnings from our group life, disability and DBL line of business. We expect continued growth in the stop-loss line of business, as evidenced by the 39% increase in our direct business written in the twelve months ended April 2015, while maintaining consistent profit margins on a growing premium base. Our earnings were also positively impacted by our specialty health business, which grew significantly and produced very positive profit margins in 2015.

Our overall investment portfolio continues to be very highly rated (on average, AA) and has a duration of approximately six years. Our book value increased to $17.11 per share at March 31, 2015 from $16.76 per share at December 31, 2014, and our total stockholders’ equity increased to $297 million at March 31, 2015 compared to $291 million at December 31, 2014.

With respect to medical stop-loss, for 2015 and beyond, we expect that a growing percentage (currently 86%) of our block of stop-loss business will be written via our direct platform. Our fully insured division has transitioned from being focused on major-medical to being principally a specialty health insurance company with controlled distribution and higher-margin lines of business, and we continue to build the direct-to-consumer and career advisor distribution models that are essential to our future growth. As a result of the significant increase in the volume and quality of our stop-loss line, the improved profitability in our fully insured segment and the continued profitability and higher retention on our group life and disability business, we expect improved operating results for the year 2015.”

About Independence Holding Company

Independence Holding Company is a holding company principally engaged in the life and health insurance business, and the acquisition of blocks of policies, through its insurance company subsidiaries (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company) and its marketing and administrative affiliates. Standard Security Life furnishes medical stop-loss, group major and limited medical, short-term medical, group long-term and short-term disability, group life, short-term, employer-mandatory disability benefit policies in New York, group and individual dental, vision and various supplemental products. Madison National Life sells group life and disability, group limited medical, group and individual dental, individual life insurance and various supplemental products. Independence American offers pet insurance, non-subscriber occupational accident, short-term medical, medical stop-loss, group and individual dental and various supplemental products. IHC owns certain subsidiaries through its majority ownership of American Independence Corp. (Nasdaq:AMIC), which is a holding company principally engaged in the insurance and reinsurance business.

Forward-looking Statements

Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered “forward-looking statements,” such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC’s ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC’s other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements unless required by applicable law.”


INDEPENDENCE HOLDING COMPANY
FIRST QUARTER REPORT
March 31, 2015
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
Three Months Ended
March 31,
2015 2014
REVENUES:
Premiums earned$ 122,114 $ 123,270
Net investment income 5,441 5,801
Fee income 3,716 9,339
Other income 994 1,111
Net realized investment gains 2,000 1,551
134,265 141,072
EXPENSES:
Insurance benefits, claims and reserves 79,620 85,309
Selling, general and administrative expenses 44,149 48,135
Amortization of deferred acquisitions costs 1,464 1,282
Interest expense on debt 432 481
125,665 135,207
Income before income taxes 8,600 5,865
Income taxes 3,269 1,860
Net income 5,331 4,005
Less: income from noncontrolling interests
in subsidiaries (112) (304)
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO IHC$ 5,219 $ 3,701
Basic income per common share$.30 $.21
WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING 17,364 17,623
Diluted income per common share$.30 $.21
WEIGHTED AVERAGE DILUTED SHARES
OUTSTANDING 17,531 17,763


As of May 1, 2015, there were 17,336,816 common shares outstanding, net of treasury shares.


INDEPENDENCE HOLDING COMPANY
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In Thousands, Except Share Data)
March 31, December 31,
2015 2014
ASSETS:
Investments:
Short-term investments$ 50 $ 50
Securities purchased under agreements to resell 50,937 16,790
Trading securities 9,520 11,095
Fixed maturities, available-for-sale 564,144 583,880
Equity securities, available-for-sale 7,350 13,895
Other investments 25,484 25,251
Total investments 657,485 650,961
Cash and cash equivalents 20,595 25,083
Deferred acquisition costs 31,143 30,806
Due and unpaid premiums 76,811 62,628
Due from reinsurers 273,712 278,242
Premium and claim funds 32,929 32,553
Goodwill 50,318 50,318
Other assets 62,739 57,126
TOTAL ASSETS$ 1,205,732 $ 1,187,717
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:
LIABILITIES:
Policy benefits and claims$ 245,047 $ 236,803
Future policy benefits 275,803 277,041
Funds on deposit 181,119 186,782
Unearned premiums 11,042 9,455
Other policyholders' funds 18,326 18,802
Due to reinsurers 47,823 47,945
Accounts payable, accruals and other liabilities 79,052 67,641
Debt 4,000 4,000
Junior subordinated debt securities 38,146 38,146
TOTAL LIABILITIES 900,358 886,615
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:
IHC STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:
Preferred stock (none issued) - -
Common stock 18,546 18,531
Paid-in capital 127,113 127,098
Accumulated other comprehensive income 901 22
Treasury stock, at cost (12,738) (12,141)
Retained earnings 162,865 157,667
TOTAL IHC STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY 296,687 291,177
NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS IN SUBSIDIARIES 8,687 9,925
TOTAL EQUITY 305,374 301,102
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY $ 1,205,732 $ 1,187,717


CONTACT: Loan Nisser (646) 509-2107 www.IHCGroup.com

Source:Independence Holding Company