ZURICH--Apr 29, 2014--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE) today reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, of $2.14 per share, compared with $2.77 per share for the same quarter last year.(1) Operating income was $2.27 per share, compared with $2.17 per share for the same quarter last year. Book value and tangible book value per share increased 2.4% and 3.0%, respectively, from December 31, 2013. Book value and tangible book value per share now stand at $86.90 and $70.97, respectively. Operating return on equity for the quarter was 11.2%. The property and casualty (P&C) combined ratio for the quarter was 88.8%.
|First Quarter Summary|
|(in millions, except per share amounts)|
|(Per Share - Diluted)|
|Operating income, net of tax||$||777||$||746||4.2||%||$||2.27||$||2.17||4.6||%|
|Adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax||(43||)||207||NM||(0.13||)||0.60||NM|
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ACE Limited, commented: “ACE had an excellent first quarter and a very good start to the year. After-tax operating income of $777 million was driven by both strong underwriting and investment income results, which generated an operating ROE of 11.2%. Per share book and tangible book value grew 2.4% and 3%, respectively.
“Underwriting results were particularly strong in the quarter, with underwriting income up 7% and a P&C combined ratio of 88.8%. Underwriting income benefited from excellent current accident year underwriting income growth before catastrophe losses of 17% as a result of double-digit growth in earned premium and improved margin.
“Premium revenue growth across the company was exceptionally strong, with total P&C net premiums up 12%, or nearly 14% in constant dollars. In North America, our P&C business grew 11% in the quarter and continued to achieve positive rate increases with overall pricing up in casualty-related lines and down in property-related. Internationally, where our P&C business grew more than 12% in constant dollars, pricing was generally flat. Commercial P&C market conditions globally are stable but growing more competitive. This is not a surprise – we are a disciplined organization and prepared. Given our excellent diversification by product, geography and distribution, many areas of our business have attractive growth prospects, and as a result we are confident in our ability to outperform.”
Operating highlights for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, were as follows:
|(in millions of U.S. dollars except for percentages)||1Q||1Q|
|Net premiums written||$||3,691||$||3,296||12.0||%|
|Net premiums written constant-dollar (1)||$||3,247||13.7||%|
|Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses||$ 381||$ 326||16.7%|
|Current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses||88.9||%||89.4||%|
Global P&C (excludes Agriculture)
|Net premiums written||$||3,497||$||3,183||9.9||%|
|Net premiums written constant-dollar||$||3,134||11.6||%|
|Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses||$ 373||$ 318||17.1%|
|Current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses||89.0||%||89.5||%|
|Net premiums written||$||194||$||113||72.1||%|
|Underwriting income (loss)||$||(31||)||$||11||NM|
|Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses||$ 8||$ 8||–|
|Current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses||88.9||%||85.4||%|
(1) Excluding acquisitions, P&C net premiums written increased 9.4% on a constant-dollar basis.
Details of financial results by business segment are available in the ACE Limited Financial Supplement.
Key segment items for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, include:
Please refer to the ACE Limited Financial Supplement, dated March 31, 2014, which is posted on the company's website in the Investor Information section, and access Financial Reports for more detailed information on individual segment performance, together with additional disclosure on reinsurance recoverable, loss reserves, investment portfolio and capital structure.
ACE will hold its first quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The earnings conference call will be available via live webcast at www.acegroup.com or by dialing 888-287-5529 (within the United States) or 719-325-4814 (international), passcode 1981939. Please refer to the ACE Group website in the Investor Information section under Calendar of Events for details. A replay of the call will be available until Wednesday, May 14, 2014, and the archived webcast will be available for approximately one month. To listen to the replay, please dial 888-203-1112 (in the United States) or 719-457-0820 (international), passcode 1981939.
ACE Group is one of the world's largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.
(1) All comparisons are with the same period last year unless specifically stated.
Regulation G - Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In presenting our results, we included and discussed certain non-GAAP measures. These non-GAAP measures, which may be defined differently by other companies, are important for an understanding of our overall results of operations and financial condition. However, they should not be viewed as a substitute for measures determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax, includes net realized gains (losses) and net realized gains (losses) recorded in other income (expense) related to unconsolidated subsidiaries, and excludes realized gains and losses from fair value changes on crop derivatives. These derivatives were purchased to provide economic benefit, in a manner similar to reinsurance protection, in the event that a significant decline in commodity pricing will impact underwriting results. We view changes in the fair value of these derivatives as part of the results of our underwriting operations, and therefore realized gains and losses from these derivatives are reclassified to adjusted losses and loss expenses.
Net premiums written on a constant-dollar basis and P&C net premiums written on a constant-dollar basis are financial measures which exclude the impact of foreign exchange. We believe it is useful to evaluate the trends in net premiums written, exclusive of the effect of fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the currencies in which our international business is transacted, as these exchange rates could fluctuate significantly between periods and distort the analysis of trends. The impact is determined by assuming constant foreign exchange rates between periods by translating prior period results using the same local currency exchange rates as the comparable current period. P&C net premiums written excluding acquisitions on a constant-dollar basis exclude the net premiums written of Fianzas Monterrey and ABA Seguros acquired in 2013 in order to adjust for the distortive effect of acquisitions.
Underwriting income, P&C underwriting income, and Global P&C underwriting income are calculated by subtracting losses and loss expenses, policy benefits, policy acquisition costs and administrative expenses from net premiums earned. P&C underwriting income also includes gains (losses) from fair value changes on crop derivatives. We use underwriting income and operating ratios to monitor the results of our operations without the impact of certain factors, including net investment income, other income (expense), interest and income tax expense and adjusted net realized gains (losses). Current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses is underwriting income adjusted to exclude catastrophe losses, prior period development (PPD), and gains (losses) from fair value changes on crop derivatives. We believe it is useful to exclude catastrophe losses, as they are not predictable as to timing and amount, and PPD as these unexpected loss developments on historical reserves are not indicative of our current underwriting performance. We believe the use of these measures enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the underlying profitability of our insurance business.
Operating income or income excluding adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax is a common performance measurement for insurance companies. We believe this presentation enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the underlying profitability of our insurance business. We exclude adjusted net realized gains (losses) and net realized gains (losses) included in other income (expense) related to partially-owned entities because the amount of these gains (losses) is heavily influenced by the availability of market opportunities.
P&C combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses and PPD or current accident year P&C combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses exclude impacts of catastrophe losses and PPD. We believe this measure provides a better evaluation of our core underwriting performance and enhances the understanding of the trends in our property and casualty business that may be obscured by these items.
Global P&C performance metrics comprise consolidated operating results (including corporate) and exclude the operating results of the company’s Life and Insurance – North American Agriculture segments. We believe that these measures are useful and meaningful to investors as they are used by management to assess the company’s global P&C operations which are the most economically similar. We exclude the Insurance – North American Agriculture and Life segments because the results of these businesses do not always correlate with the results of our global P&C operations.
Life net premiums written and deposits collected, excluding life reinsurance, is adjusted to include deposits collected on universal life and investment contracts (life deposits) and exclude results from our life reinsurance business. Life deposits are not reflected as revenues in our consolidated statements of operations in accordance with GAAP. We include life deposits in presenting growth in our Life business because new life deposits are an important component of production and key to our efforts to grow our business. We exclude results associated with life reinsurance as there is no new life reinsurance business currently being written.
Operating return on equity (ROE) or ROE calculated using operating income is an annualized financial measure. The ROE numerator includes income adjusted to exclude adjusted net realized gains (losses), net of tax. The ROE denominator includes the average shareholders' equity for the period adjusted to exclude unrealized gains (losses) on investments, net of tax. To annualize a quarterly rate, multiply by four. Annualized ROE calculated using operating income is a useful measure as it enhances the understanding of the return on shareholders' equity by highlighting the underlying profitability relative to shareholders' equity excluding the effect of unrealized gains and losses on our investments.
Tangible book value per common share is shareholders' equity less goodwill and other intangible assets divided by the shares outstanding. We believe that goodwill and other intangible assets are not indicative of our underlying insurance results or trends and make book value comparisons to less acquisitive peer companies less meaningful.
See reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures on pages 20-21 in the Financial Supplement. These measures should not be viewed as a substitute for net income, return on equity, or effective tax rate determined in accordance with GAAP.
NM - not meaningful comparison
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Forward-looking statements made in this press release, such as those related to economic outlook and insurance market conditions, and company performance including 2014 performance and growth opportunities, reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including without limitation, the following: competition, pricing and policy term trends, the levels of new and renewal business achieved, the frequency of unpredictable catastrophic events, actual loss experience, uncertainties in the reserving or settlement process, integration activities and performance of acquired companies, new theories of liability, judicial, legislative, regulatory and other governmental developments, litigation tactics and developments, investigation developments and actual settlement terms, the amount and timing of reinsurance recoverable, credit developments among reinsurers, rating agency action, possible terrorism or the outbreak and effects of war,economic, political, regulatory, insurance and reinsurance business conditions, potential strategic opportunities including acquisitions and our ability to achieve and integrate them, as well as management's response to these factors, and other factors identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
|Summary Consolidated Balance Sheets|
|(in millions of U.S. dollars, except per share data)|
|March 31||December 31|
|Insurance and reinsurance balances receivable||4,761||5,026|
|Reinsurance recoverable on losses and loss expenses||10,755||11,227|
|Unpaid losses and loss expenses||$||36,866||$||37,443|
|Total shareholders' equity||29,369||28,825|
|Total liabilities and shareholders' equity||$||95,179||$||94,510|
|Book value per common share||$||86.90||$||84.83|
|Summary Consolidated Financial Data|
|(in millions of U.S. dollars, except share, per share data, and ratios)|
|Three Months Ended|
|Gross premiums written||$||5,374||$||4,963|
|Net premiums written||4,185||3,798|
|Net premiums earned||3,970||3,573|
|Losses and loss expenses||2,161||1,926|
|Policy acquisition costs||728||614|
|Net investment income||553||531|
|Net realized gains (losses)||(104||)||206|
|Other income (expense):|
|Gains (losses) from separate account assets||(6||)||4|
|Income tax expense||93||122|
|Diluted earnings per share:|
|Weighted average diluted shares outstanding||342.0||343.9|
|Loss and loss expense ratio||57.7||%||57.1||%|
|Policy acquisition cost ratio||17.7||%||17.2||%|
|Administrative expense ratio||13.4||%||13.9||%|
|Consolidated Supplemental Segment Information|
|(in millions of U.S. dollars)|
|Three Months Ended|
Gross Premiums Written
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||2,024||$||1,819|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||234||249|
|Insurance – Overseas General||2,261||2,073|
Net Premiums Written
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||1,418||$||1,284|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||194||113|
|Insurance – Overseas General||1,771||1,620|
Net Premiums Earned
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||1,487||$||1,338|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||103||52|
|Insurance – Overseas General||1,612||1,459|
Operating Income (loss)
|Insurance – North American P&C||$||411||$||361|
|Insurance – North American Agriculture||(25||)||7|
|Insurance – Overseas General||239||239|