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HCI Group Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results

TAMPA, Fla., March 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE:HCI), a holding company primarily engaged in homeowners insurance, with additional operations in reinsurance, real estate and information technology, reported results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017.

Fourth Quarter 2017 - Financial Results
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 totaled $12.1 million or $1.14 diluted earnings per share compared with $4.6 million or $0.47 diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Gross premiums earned totaled $87.9 million compared with $92.4 million in the same period in 2016. The decrease in 2017 was attributable primarily to policy attrition. Gross premiums written were $46.6 million compared with $58.9 million in the same quarter in 2016 due primarily to a smaller number of policies assumed from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the fourth quarter of 2016.

Premiums ceded increased to $32.1 million or 36.5% of gross premiums earned from $29.1 million or 31.4% of gross premiums earned in the fourth quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily attributable to the adjustment to benefits and deferred reinsurance premiums related to retrospective provisions under certain reinsurance contracts.

Net premiums earned (defined as gross premiums earned less premiums ceded to reinsurance) were $55.8 million compared with $63.4 million in the same period in 2016.

Net premiums written (defined as gross premiums written less premiums ceded to reinsurance) were $14.5 million compared with $29.8 million in the same period in 2016.

Investment related income was $5.0 million compared with $4.8 million in the same period in 2016. Additionally, the company recognized net non-cash charges of $0.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 and $1.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to declines in the fair value of securities determined to be other than temporary.

Losses and loss adjustment expenses were $23.2 million compared with $45.4 million in the same period in 2016. The decrease was due to the impact of Hurricane Matthew and reserve strengthening in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Interest expense was $4.4 million compared with $3.0 million in the same period in 2016. The increase resulted from the issuance of $143.75 million of 4.25% convertible senior notes in March 2017, offset in part by the redemption of the company’s 8% senior notes in the amount of $40.25 million in April 2017.

Fourth Quarter 2017 - Financial Ratios
The loss ratio (defined as losses and loss adjustment expenses related to net premiums earned) for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 41.6% compared with 71.7% for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The expense ratio (defined as underwriting expenses, general and administrative personnel expenses, interest expenses, and other operating expenses related to net premiums earned) was 38.5% compared with 33.2% in the same prior year period.

Expressed as a total of all expenses related to net premiums earned, the combined loss and expense ratio was 80.1% compared with 104.9% in the same prior year period.

Full Year 2017 - Financial Results
Net loss for the year 2017 totaled $6.9 million or $0.75 diluted loss per common share compared with net income of $29.0 million or $2.92 diluted earnings per common share for 2016. The decline was primarily attributable to losses and loss adjustment expenses from Hurricane Irma, a decrease in gross premiums earned and an increase in interest expense resulting from the issuance of long-term debt in March 2017. These factors contributed to $15.6 million pre-tax operating losses in 2017 which resulted in $8.7 million of recognized income tax benefit, which included net positive tax effects of approximately $1.4 million due to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Gross premiums earned totaled $358.3 million compared with $378.7 million in 2016. The decrease in 2017 was primarily attributable to policy attrition. Gross premiums written were $347.4 million compared with $367.2 million in the same twelve-month period of 2016.

Premiums ceded were $133.6 million or 37.3% of gross premiums earned compared with $135.1 million or 35.7% of gross premiums earned during 2016. The percentage increase was primarily attributable to adjustments related to retrospective provisions under certain reinsurance contracts due to losses incurred by Hurricane Irma.

Net premiums earned decreased to $224.6 million from $243.6 million in 2016. Net premiums written were $213.8 million compared with $232.1 million in 2016.

Investment related income was $15.9 million compared with $11.7 million in 2016. The increase in 2017 was primarily due to increased income from limited partnership investments and greater realized net gains from the sale of securities. Additionally, the company recognized net non-cash charges of $1.5 million in 2017 and $2.5 million in 2016 due to declines in the fair value of securities determined to be other than temporary.

Losses and loss adjustment expenses for 2017 and 2016 were $165.6 million and $124.7 million, respectively. Losses and loss adjustment expenses in 2017 included $54 million of estimated net losses related to Hurricane Irma, an increase of $2.5 million to the company’s estimate of Hurricane Matthew losses, and reserve strengthening for prior years. Losses and loss adjustment expenses in 2016 were also impacted by weather related events.

Policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses were $39.7 million compared with $42.6 million for 2016.

General and administrative personnel expenses were $25.1 million compared with $26.2 million in 2016. The decrease was primarily attributable to capitalized payroll costs related to a software development project that began in the fourth quarter of 2016 and lower cash bonuses for senior management.

Book value per share, defined as shareholders’ equity divided by common shares outstanding, was $22.14 at December 31, 2017 compared with $25.23 at December 31, 2016.

Full Year 2017 - Financial Ratios
The loss ratio was 73.7% compared with 51.2% in 2016. The increase was primarily attributable to losses related to Hurricane Irma combined with the decrease in net premiums earned in 2017.

The expense ratio was 42% compared with 38.1% in 2016. The increase in 2017 was primarily attributable to the reduction in 2017 in net premiums earned. Expressed as a total of all expenses related to net premiums earned, the combined loss and expense ratio to net premiums earned was 115.8% compared with 89.3% in 2016.

Due to the impact that reinsurance costs have on net premiums earned from period to period, management believes the combined ratio measured to gross premiums earned is more relevant in assessing overall performance. The combined ratio to gross premiums earned for the year ended December 31, 2017 was 72.6% compared with 57.5% for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Management Commentary
“After Hurricane Irma we are back to earning profits and increasing book value,” said Paresh Patel, HCI’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our enterprise continues to return value to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks.”

Conference Call
HCI Group will hold a conference call later today, March 6, 2018, to discuss these financial results. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paresh Patel and Chief Financial Officer Mark Harmsworth will host the call starting at 4:45 p.m. Eastern time. A question and answer session will follow management's presentation.

Interested parties can listen to the live presentation by dialing the listen-only number below or by clicking the webcast link available on the Investor Information section of the company's website at www.hcigroup.com.

Listen-only toll-free number: (877) 407-8033

Listen-only international number: (201) 689-8033

Please call the conference telephone number 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 at (949) 574-3860.

A replay of the call will be available by telephone after 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on the same day as the call and via the Investor Information section of the HCI Group website at www.hcigroup.com through April 6, 2018.

Toll-free replay number: (877) 481-4010
International replay number: (919) 882-2331
Replay ID: 25394

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 Index and the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. HCI Group, Inc. regularly publishes financial and other information in the Investor Information section of the company’s website. For more information about HCI Group and its subsidiaries, 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. For example, the estimation of reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses is an inherently imprecise process involving many assumptions and considerable management judgment. 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.

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 Najim Mostamand, CFA
Liolios Group, Inc.
Tel (949) 574-3860
HCI@liolios.com

- Tables to follow -


HCI GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Dollar amounts in thousands)
At December 31, 2017 At December 31, 2016
Assets
Fixed-maturity securities, available for sale, at fair value
(amortized cost: $235,830 and $167,231, respectively)$ 237,484 166,248
Equity securities, available for sale, at fair value
(cost: $53,132 and $47,750, respectively) 58,911 53,035
Equity securities, trading, at fair value (cost: $953 and $0, respectively) 1,045 -
Limited partnership investments, at equity 23,184 29,263
Investment in unconsolidated joint venture, at equity 1,304 2,102
Real estate investments (inclusive of $4,680 and $3,404 of consolidated variable
interest entities, respectively) 58,358 48,086
Total investments 380,286 298,734
Cash and cash equivalents (inclusive of $0 and $65 of consolidated
variable interest entities, respectively) 255,884 280,531
Accrued interest and dividends receivable 1,983 1,654
Income taxes receivable 16,192 2,811
Premiums receivable 17,807 17,276
Prepaid reinsurance premiums 22,286 24,554
Reinsurance recoverable:
Paid losses and loss adjustment expenses 2,344 -
Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses 100,760 -
Deferred policy acquisition costs 16,712 16,639
Property and equipment, net 12,465 11,374
Intangible assets, net 4,995 4,899
Deferred income taxes, net - 250
Other assets (inclusive of $152 and $0 of consolidated variable
interest entities, respectively) 10,550 11,342
Total assets$842,264 670,064
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
Losses and loss adjustment expenses$ 198,578 70,492
Unearned premiums 164,896 175,803
Advance premiums 4,948 4,651
Assumed reinsurance balances payable 15 3,294
Accrued expenses (inclusive of $21 and $68 of consolidated variable interest
entities, respectively) 6,035 6,513
Reinsurance recovered in advance on unpaid losses 13,885 -
Deferred income taxes, net 1,890 -
Long-term debt 237,835 138,863
Other liabilities (inclusive of $160 and $11 of consolidated variable interest
entities, respectively) 20,207 26,702
Total liabilities 648,289 426,318
Stockholders’ equity:
7% Series A cumulative convertible preferred stock (no par value,
1,500,000 shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding)
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,
8,762,416 and 9,662,761 shares issued and outstanding in
2017 and 2016, respectively)
Additional paid-in capital 8,139
Retained income 189,409 232,964
Accumulated other comprehensive income, net of taxes 4,566 2,643
Total stockholders’ equity 193,975 243,746
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$842,264 670,064

HCI GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Income
(Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)
Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Years Ended
December 31, September 31, December 31,
2017 2016 2017 2016 2017 2016
Revenue
Gross premiums earned $ 87,877 92,405 $ 88,669 92,542 $ 358,253 378,678
Premiums ceded (32,106) (29,053) (44,705) (29,242) (133,635) (135,051)
Net premiums earned 55,771 63,352 43,964 63,300 224,618 243,627
Net investment income 2,917 3,087 2,878 2,785 11,439 9,087
Net realized investment gains (losses) 2,070 1,702 (226) 583 4,346 2,601
Net unrealized investment gains 18 - 74 - 92 -
Net other-than-temporary impairment losses recognized in income:
Total other-than-temporary impairment losses (252) (1,041) (474) (575) (1,116) (2,252)
Portion of loss recognized in other comprehensive
income, before taxes (351) - - 351 (351) (230)
Net other-than-temporary impairment losses (603) (1,041) (474) (224) (1,467) (2,482)
Policy fee income 901 947 905 972 3,622 3,914
Gain on repurchases of convertible senior notes - - - - - 153
Gain on bargain purchase - - - 2,071 - 2,071
Gain on remeasurement of previously held interest - 4,005 - - - 4,005
Other 549 319 369 321 1,756 1,470
Total revenue 61,623 72,371 47,490 69,808 244,406 264,446
Expenses
Losses and loss adjustment expenses 23,204 45,406 89,231 25,909 165,629 124,667
Policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses 10,018 10,117 9,926 10,536 39,663 42,642
General and administrative personnel expenses 4,106 4,010 6,672 7,735 25,127 26,200
Interest expense 4,439 2,967 4,408 2,672 16,767 11,079
Loss on repurchase of senior notes - - - - 743 -
Impairment Loss - 388 38 - 38 388
Other operating expenses 2,909 3,582 3,233 2,927 12,063 12,614
Total operating expenses 44,676 66,470 113,508 49,779 260,030 217,590
(Loss) Income before income taxes 16,947 5,901 (66,018) 20,029 (15,624) 46,856
Income tax (benefit) expense 4,856 1,293 (25,472) 8,696 (8,731) 17,835
Net (loss) income $ 12,091 4,608 $ (40,546) 11,333 $ (6,893) 29,021
Basic (loss) earnings per share $ 1.37 0.47 $ (4.44) 1.17 $ (0.75) 2.95
Diluted (loss) earnings per share $ 1.14 0.47 $ (4.44) 1.10 $ (0.75) 2.92
Dividends per share $ 0.35 0.30 $ 0.35 0.30 $ 1.40 1.20

HCI GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
(Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)
A summary of the numerator and denominator of the basic and diluted loss per common share is presented below.
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2017
Income (Loss) Shares Per Share
(Numerator)
(Denominator) Amount
Net income$ 12,091
Less: Income attributable to participating securities (823)
Basic Earnings Per Share:
Income allocated to common stockholders 11,268 8,291 $ 1.37
Effect of Dilutive Securities:
Stock options - 16
Convertible senior notes 2,556 3,796
Diluted Earnings Per Share:
Income available to common stockholders and assumed conversions$ 13,824 12,103 $ 1.14
Year Ended
December 31, 2017
Loss Shares Per Share
(Numerator) (Denominator) Amount
Net loss$ (6,893)
Less: Loss attributable to participating securities 481
Basic and Diluted Loss Per Share:
Loss available to common stockholders*$ (6,412) 8,558 $ (0.75)
*Stock options and convertible senior notes were excluded due to antidilutive effect.


Source:HCI Group, Inc.

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