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National Western Life Group, Inc. Announces 2017 Third Quarter Earnings

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ross R. Moody, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Western Life Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NWLI), announced today third quarter 2017 consolidated net earnings of $21.8 million, or $6.17 per diluted Class A common share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $33.7 million, or $9.54 per diluted Class A common share, for 2016. For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, the Company reported consolidated net earnings of $70.8 million, or $20.03 per diluted Class A common share, compared with $77.3 million, or $21.85 per diluted Class A common share, a year ago. The Company's book value per share increased to $495.76 as of September 30, 2017 from $489.63 as of June 30, 2017.

The Company reported earnings from operations, excluding net realized gains and losses on investments, of $20.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, or $5.79 per diluted Class A common share, compared to $30.2 million, or $8.54 per diluted Class A common share in the same period for 2016. Mr. Moody commented on the earnings results saying, "Our earnings in the third quarter last year benefited from favorable experience in the performance of our domestic life insurance business which allowed us to decrease amortization of acquisition expenses by $8.2 million. Experience performance of our lines of business in the third quarter this year resulted in an addition to benefits and expenses of $0.4 million." Mr. Moody noted that third quarter 2017 results also witnessed lower realized investment gains due to a reduced level of bond calls on its investment portfolio. "We prefer that debt instruments with higher coupons remain in the portfolio to generate interest earnings to support our crediting rate obligations," he added.

The Company's total revenues for the 2017 third quarter reached $204.0 million, surpassing the 2016 third quarter amount by 12%, as the Company's investments in index options continued their favorable market performance. Mr. Moody indicated, "Our portfolio of equity-index products, both life insurance and annuities, has continued to be well-received by the marketplace. Index option returns passed along to our policyholders in the form of interest credits have increased substantially this year." For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, total revenues increased to $626.6 million from $497.9 million in the prior year period. Mr. Moody observed, "We are pursuing additional opportunities and distribution channels to build upon the success of our product offerings and believe the diversity that these initiatives present will greatly benefit National Western."

National Western Life Group, Inc. is the parent organization of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWLIC). Founded in 1956, NWLIC is a stock life insurance company offering a broad portfolio of individual universal life, whole life and term insurance plans, as well as annuity products, which meet the financial needs of its customers in 49 states as well as residents of various international countries. NWLIC has 277 employees and approximately 30,100 contracted independent agents, brokers, and consultants. At September 30, 2017, the Company maintained consolidated total assets of $12.1 billion, stockholders' equity of $1.8 billion, and life insurance in force of $19.9 billion.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains statements which are or may be viewed as forward-looking within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 2005. Forward-looking statements relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments, and are subject to assumptions, risks, and uncertainties. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements can be found in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made and the Company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that other factors not currently anticipated by the Company will not materially and adversely affect our results of operations. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf.

Summary of Consolidated Operating Results (Unaudited)

(In thousands except per share data)








Three Months Ended


Nine Months Ended



September 30,


September 30,



2017


2016


2017


2016

Revenues:









Revenues, excluding investment and index option gains (losses)

$

156,785



157,307



477,175



478,987


Realized and unrealized gains (losses) on index options


45,131



19,114



138,552



8,307


Realized gains on investments


2,074



5,426



10,906



10,589


Total revenues


203,990



181,847



626,633



497,883











Earnings:









Earnings from operations

$

20,465



30,209



63,745



70,397


Net realized gains on investments


1,348



3,527



7,089



6,883


Net earnings


21,813



33,736



70,834



77,280











Net earnings attributable to Class A shares


21,196



32,782



68,831



75,095











Basic Earnings Per Class A Share:









Earnings from operations

$

5.79



8.54



18.03



19.91


Net realized gains on investments


0.38



1.00



2.00



1.94


Net earnings


6.17



9.54



20.03



21.85











Basic Weighted Average Class A Shares


3,436



3,436



3,436



3,436











Diluted Earnings Per Class A Share:









Earnings from operations

$

5.79



8.54



18.03



19.91


Net realized gains on investments


0.38



1.00



2.00



1.94


Net earnings


6.17



9.54



20.03



21.85











Diluted Weighted Average Class A Shares


3,436



3,436



3,436



3,436


Investor Relations Contact:
Brian M. Pribyl - Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
(512) 836-1010
bpribyl@nationalwesternlife.com
www.nwlgi.com

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SOURCE National Western Life Group, Inc.