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AMERISAFE Announces 2016 Third Quarter Results

DERIDDER, La., Oct. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AMERISAFE, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMSF), a specialty provider of hazardous workers’ compensation insurance, today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016.

Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, September 30,
2016 2015 % Change 2016 2015 % Change
(in thousands, except per
share data)
(in thousands, except per
share data)
Net premiums earned$89,918 $90,504 -0.6% $276,607 $280,860 -1.5%
Net investment income 8,006 6,923 15.6% 20,251 20,646 -1.9%
Net realized gains (losses) on
investments (pre-tax) 181 40 NM 974 (2,518) NM
Net income 17,896 17,940 -0.2% 58,792 47,389 24.1%
Diluted earnings per share$0.93 $0.94 -1.1% $3.06 $2.48 23.4%
Operating net income 17,778 17,914 -0.8% 58,159 49,026 18.6%
Operating earnings per share$0.93 $0.94 -1.1% $3.03 $2.57 17.9%
Book value per share$26.51 $25.69 3.2% $26.51 $25.69 3.2%
Net combined ratio 80.3% 79.1% 77.0% 82.6%
Return on average equity 14.2% 14.9% 16.3% 13.5%

G. Janelle Frost, President and Chief Executive Officer noted, “AMERISAFE continued to report favorable underwriting results this quarter, a testament to our discipline. This long- standing focus has positioned the Company appropriately as the workers’ compensation market faces declining loss costs and industry wide reserve deficiencies.”

Insurance Results

Three Months Ended
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
September 30,
2016 2015 % Change
2016 2015 % Change
(in thousands)
(in thousands)
Gross premiums written$88,837 $91,061 -2.4% $292,443 $297,872 -1.8%
Net premiums earned 89,918 90,504 -0.6% 276,607 280,860 -1.5%
Loss and loss adjustment expenses incurred 50,526 48,942 3.2% 146,413 166,252 -11.9%
Underwriting and certain other operating costs,
commissions, salaries and benefits 20,764 22,267 -6.7% 63,459 64,719 -1.9%
Policyholder dividends 889 371 NM 3,195 1,024 NM
Underwriting profit (pre-tax)$17,739 $18,924 -6.3% $63,540 $48,865 30.0%
Insurance Ratios:
Current accident year loss ratio 67.9% 69.8% 67.9% 69.8%
Prior accident year loss ratio -11.7% -15.7% -15.0% -10.6%
Net loss ratio 56.2% 54.1% 52.9% 59.2%
Net underwriting expense ratio 23.1% 24.6% 22.9% 23.0%
Net dividend ratio 1.0% 0.4% 1.2% 0.4%
Net combined ratio 80.3% 79.1% 77.0% 82.6%

  • Gross premiums written in the quarter decreased by $2.2 million, or 2.4%. Payroll audits and related premium adjustments decreased premiums written by $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2016, compared with no impact in the third quarter of 2015.
  • Voluntary premium for policies written during the quarter ended September 30, 2016 decreased $0.8 million, or 0.9%, compared with the third quarter of 2015.
  • Net premiums earned during the quarter ended September 30, 2016 decreased 0.6% compared with the third quarter of 2015.
  • The current accident year loss ratio for the third quarter was 67.9%, a decrease of 1.9 percentage points from 69.8% in the third quarter of 2015. During the quarter, the Company experienced favorable loss development for prior accident years which reduced loss and loss adjustment expenses by $10.5 million, mostly attributable to accident years 2014, 2013, and 2008. These results reflect improved trends for both closing claims and claims severity and were driven by favorable case reserve development on claims that were closed during the third quarter.

  • For the quarter ended September 30, 2016, the underwriting expense ratio was 23.1% compared to 24.6% in the same quarter in 2015. The decrease in the quarter was primarily due to decreases in assessments and commissions compared with the third quarter of last year.
  • The effective tax rate for the quarter ended September 30, 2016 was 31.2% compared with 30.7% for the third quarter of 2015. The increase in the tax rate resulted from a higher proportion of underwriting income to tax-exempt income relative to the third quarter of 2015.

Investment Results

Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, September 30,
2016 2015 % Change 2016 2015 % Change
(in thousands) (in thousands)
Net investment income$8,006 $6,923 15.6% $20,251 $20,646 -1.9%
Net realized gains (losses) on
investments (pre-tax) 181 40 NM 974 (2,518) NM
Pre-tax investment yield 2.7% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4%
Tax-equivalent yield (1) 3.2% 3.3% 3.2% 3.3%
________________________________

(1) The tax equivalent yield is calculated using the effective interest rate and the appropriate marginal tax rate.

  • Net investment income for the quarter ending September 30, 2016, increased 15.6% to $8.0 million from $6.9 million in the third quarter of 2015, largely due to the increase in value of an investment in a limited partnership hedge fund where the change in value is recorded in investment income each quarter.

  • As of September 30, 2016, the carrying and fair value of AMERISAFE’s investment portfolio, including cash and cash equivalents, was $1.2 billion.

Capital Management and Extraordinary Dividend

The company paid a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share on September 23, 2016. On October 25, 2016 the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share, payable on December 29, 2016 to shareholders of record as of December 15, 2016.

In addition, on October 25, 2016 the Company’s Board of Directors declared an extraordinary dividend of $3.25 per share, payable on December 29, 2016 to shareholders of record as of December 15, 2016.

During the quarter, no shares were repurchased under the Company’s share repurchase plan.

Supplemental Information

Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
September 30,September 30,
2016 2015 2016 2015
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
Net income$17,896 $17,940 $58,792 $47,389
Less: Net realized gains (losses) on investments 181 40 974 (2,518)
Tax effect (1) (63) (14) (341) 881
Operating net income (2)$ 17,778 $ 17,914 $ 58,159 $ 49,026
Average shareholders’ equity (3)$502,845 $481,687 $481,862 $468,772
Less: Average accumulated other comprehensive income 7,453 2,706 4,592 3,085
Average adjusted shareholders’ equity$ 495,392 $ 478,981 $ 477,270 $ 465,687
Diluted weighted average common shares 19,190,191 19,096,259 19,186,398 19,088,140
Return on average equity (4) 14.2% 14.9% 16.3% 13.5%
Operating return on average adjusted equity (2) 14.4% 15.0% 16.2% 14.0%
Diluted earnings per share$0.93 $0.94 $3.06 $2.48
Operating earnings per share (2)$0.93 $0.94 $3.03 $2.57
________________________________

(1) The tax effect of net realized capital gains is calculated assuming an annual tax rate of 35%.

(2) Operating net income, operating return on average adjusted equity and operating earnings per share are non-GAAP financial measures. Management believes that investors’ understanding of core operating performance is enhanced by AMERISAFE’s disclosure of these financial measures.

(3) Average shareholders’ equity is calculated by taking the average of the beginning and ending shareholders’ equity.

(4) Return on average equity is calculated by dividing the annualized net income by the average shareholders’ equity.

Conference Call Information

AMERISAFE has scheduled a conference call for Thursday October 27, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss the results for the quarter, as well as the outlook for future periods. To participate in the conference call dial 877-225-7695 (Domestic) or 720-545-0027 (International) at least ten minutes before the call begins and ask for the AMERISAFE conference call. A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the live broadcast ends and will be accessible through November 3, 2016. To access the replay, dial 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406 and use the pass code 85111412#.

Investors, analysts and the general public will also have the opportunity to listen to the conference call over the Internet by visiting http://www.amerisafe.com. To listen to the live call on the web, please visit the website at least fifteen minutes before the call begins to register, download and install any necessary audio software. For those who cannot listen to the live webcast, an archive will be available shortly after the call at http://www.amerisafe.com.

About AMERISAFE
AMERISAFE, Inc. is a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance focused on small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking, manufacturing, agriculture and oil and gas. AMERISAFE actively markets workers’ compensation insurance in 27 states.

Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements accompanied by words such as “will,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” or similar words are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding AMERISAFE’s plans and performance. These statements are based on management’s estimates, assumptions and projections as of the date of this release and are not guarantees of future performance and include statements regarding management’s views and expectations of the workers’ compensation market, the Company’s growth opportunities, underwriting margins and actions by competitors. Actual results may differ materially from the results expressed or implied in these statements as the results of risks, uncertainties and other factors including the factors set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including AMERISAFE’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015. AMERISAFE cautions you not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. AMERISAFE does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or circumstances that arise after the date of this release.

- Tables to follow -

AMERISAFE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income
(in thousands)
Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
September 30,September 30,
2016 2015 2016 2015
(unaudited)(unaudited)
Revenues:
Gross premiums written$ 88,837 $ 91,061 $ 292,443 $ 297,872
Ceded premiums written (2,945) (4,232) (8,046) (9,317)
Net premiums written$ 85,892 $ 86,829 $ 284,397 $ 288,555
Net premiums earned$ 89,918 $ 90,504 $ 276,607 $ 280,860
Net investment income 8,006 6,923 20,251 20,646
Net realized gains (losses) on investments 181 40 974 (2,518)
Fee and other income 101 3 272 206
Total revenues 98,206 97,470 298,104 299,194
Expenses:
Loss and loss adjustment expenses incurred 50,526 48,942 146,413 166,252
Underwriting and other operating costs 20,764 22,267 63,459 64,719
Policyholder dividends 889 371 3,195 1,024
Total expenses 72,179 71,580 213,067 231,995
Income before taxes 26,027 25,890 85,037 67,199
Income tax expense 8,131 7,950 26,245 19,810
Net income $ 17,896 $ 17,940 $ 58,792 $ 47,389


AMERISAFE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income (cont.)
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
September 30,September 30,
2016 2015 2016 2015
(unaudited)(unaudited)
Basic EPS:
Net income$17,896 $17,940 $58,792 $47,389
��
Basic weighted average common shares 19,121,947 18,968,718 19,092,298 18,911,675
Basic earnings per share$0.94 $0.95 $3.08 $2.51
Diluted EPS:
Net income$17,896 $17,940 $58,792 $47,389
Diluted weighted average common shares:
Weighted average common shares 19,121,947 18,968,718 19,092,298 18,911,675
Stock options and performance shares 68,244 127,541 94,100 176,465
Diluted weighted average common shares 19,190,191 19,096,259 19,186,398 19,088,140
Diluted earnings per share$0.93 $0.94 $3.06 $2.48


AMERISAFE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands)
September 30,December 31,
2016 2015
(unaudited)
Assets
Investments$1,095,634 $1,045,152
Cash and cash equivalents 86,612 69,481
Amounts recoverable from reinsurers 102,815 91,077
Premiums receivable, net 200,987 185,364
Deferred income taxes 28,278 29,905
Deferred policy acquisition costs 20,363 20,412
Other assets 65,489 60,654
$1,600,178 $1,502,045
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity
Liabilities:
Reserves for loss and loss adjustment expenses$736,276 $718,033
Unearned premiums 175,773 167,983
Insurance-related assessments 35,875 32,329
Other liabilities 142,511 129,719
Shareholders’ equity 509,743 453,981
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity$1,600,178 $1,502,045


Contact: Neal A Fuller, EVP & CFO AMERISAFE, Inc. 337-463-9052

Source:AMERISAFE, Inc.