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Press release from Business Wire

Safety Announces Third Quarter 2012 Results and Declares Fourth Quarter 2012 Dividend

Friday, November 02, 2012

Safety Announces Third Quarter 2012 Results and Declares Fourth Quarter 2012 Dividend16:10 EDT Friday, November 02, 2012 BOSTON (Business Wire) -- Safety Insurance Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFT) today reported third quarter 2012 results. Net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $14.3 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared to net income of $8.8 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, for the comparable 2011 period. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was $48.5 million, or $3.17 per diluted share, compared to $8.9 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, for the comparable 2011 period. Safety's book value per share increased to $45.46 at September 30, 2012 from $43.22 at December 31, 2011. Safety paid $0.60 per share in dividends to investors during the quarter ended September 30, 2012, compared to $0.50 per share during the comparable 2011 period. Safety paid $2.00 per share in dividends to investors during the year ended December 31, 2011. Direct written premiums for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 increased by $11.9 million, or 7.1%, to $179.0 million from $167.1 million for the comparable 2011 period. Direct written premiums for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 increased by $36.7 million, or 7.3%, to $541.1 million from $504.4 million for the comparable 2011 period. The 2012 increases occurred primarily in our personal automobile and homeowners business lines, which experienced increases of 5.0%, and 3.8%, respectively, in average written premium per exposure. Written exposures remained consistent in our personal automobile line and increased by 8.0% in our homeowners business line. Net written premiums for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 increased by $13.5 million, or 8.5%, to $171.7 million from $158.2 million for the comparable 2011 period. Net written premiums for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 increased by $34.5 million, or 7.1%, to $518.0 million from $483.5 million for the comparable 2011 period. Net earned premiums for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 increased by $11.2 million, or 7.4%, to $162.5 million from $151.3 million for the comparable 2011 period. Net earned premiums for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 increased by $32.5 million, or 7.3%, to $477.1 million from $444.6 million for the comparable 2011 period. Net written and net earned premiums increased primarily due to direct written premium increases in our personal automobile and homeowners business lines as discussed above. Net investment income for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $10.1 million, consistent with the comparable 2011 period. Net investment income for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 increased by $0.8 million, or 2.8%, to $30.5 million from $29.7 million for the comparable 2011 period. Net effective annualized yield on the investment portfolio for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was 3.6%, down from 3.7% for the comparable 2011 period. Net effective annualized yield on the investment portfolio for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was 3.7%, the same as the comparable 2011 period. Our duration was 3.6 years at September 30, 2012, down from 3.7 years at December 31, 2011. For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, loss and loss adjustment expenses incurred decreased by $5.1 million, or 4.6%, to $106.4 million from $111.5 million for the comparable 2011 period. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, loss and loss adjustment expenses incurred decreased by $40.2 million, or 11.6%, to $307.2 million from $347.4 million for the comparable 2011 period. The decrease was primarily due to pre-tax catastrophic weather event losses incurred of $2.4 million during the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2012, compared to $12.4 million and $53.0 million, respectively, during the comparable 2011 periods. Loss, expense, and combined ratios calculated under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 were 65.5%, 30.8%, and 96.3%, respectively, compared to 73.7%, 30.1%, and 103.8%, respectively, for the comparable 2011 period. Loss, expense, and combined ratios calculated under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 were 64.4%, 30.7%, and 95.1%, respectively, compared to 78.1%, 29.7%, and 107.8%, respectively, for the comparable 2011 period. Total prior year favorable development included in the pre-tax results for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2012 was $4.3 million and $11.9 million, respectively, compared to $6.3 million and $25.1 million, respectively, for the comparable 2011 periods. Today, our Board of Directors approved and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.60 per share on the issued and outstanding common stock, payable on December 14, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 3, 2012. About Safety: Safety Insurance Group, Inc. is the parent of Safety Insurance Company, Safety Indemnity Insurance Company, and Safety Property and Casualty Insurance Company which are Boston, MA, based writers of property and casualty insurance. Safety is a leading writer of personal automobile insurance in Massachusetts. Additional Information: Press releases, announcements, U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Filings and investor information are available under “About Safety,” “Investor Information” on our Company website located at www.SafetyInsurance.com. Safety filed its December 31, 2011 Form 10-K with the SEC on March 13, 2012 and urges shareholders to refer to this document for more complete information concerning Safety's financial results. Cautionary Statement under "Safe Harbor" Provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:This press release contains, and Safety may from time to time make, written or oral "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “aim,” “projects,” or words of similar meaning and expressions that indicate future events and trends, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may”. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the Company's strategy for growth, product development, market position, expenditures and financial results, are forward-looking statements.Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. There are a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause actual future conditions, events, results or trends to differ significantly and/or materially from historical results or those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to the competitive nature of our industry and the possible adverse effects of such competition.Although a number of national insurers that are much larger than we are do not currently compete in a material way in the Massachusetts private passenger automobile market, if one or more of these companies decided to aggressively enter the market it could have a material adverse effect on us.Other significant factors include conditions for business operations and restrictive regulations in Massachusetts, the possibility of losses due to claims resulting from severe weather, the possibility that the Commissioner of Insurance may approve future Rule changes that change the operation of the residual market, our possible need for and availability of additional financing, and our dependence on strategic relationships, among others, and other risks and factors identified from time to time in our reports filed with the SEC, such as those set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 filed with the SEC on March 13, 2012.We are not under any obligation (and expressly disclaim any such obligation) to update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.You should carefully consider the possibility that actual results may differ materially from our forward-looking statements.Safety Insurance Group, Inc. and SubsidiariesConsolidated Balance Sheets(Dollars in thousands, except share data)               September 30,December 31,20122011(Unaudited)Assets Investments: Securities available for sale: Fixed maturities, at fair value (amortized cost: $1,100,759 and $1,032,660) $1,171,464 $ 1,086,813 Equity securities, at fair value (cost: $21,077 and $20,431)   22,833     21,080   Total investments 1,194,297 1,107,893 Cash and cash equivalents 33,697 37,890 Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts 180,333 154,143 Receivable for securities sold 866 - Accrued investment income 10,092 10,169 Taxes recoverable 3,551 8,406 Receivable from reinsurers related to paid loss and loss adjustment expenses 8,762 3,526 Receivable from reinsurers related to unpaid loss and loss adjustment expenses 52,115 51,774 Ceded unearned premiums 15,012 14,022 Deferred policy acquisition costs 63,905 56,716 Equity and deposits in pools 16,567 14,507 Other assets   14,242     13,448   Total assets$1,593,439   $ 1,472,494     Liabilities Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves $413,641 $ 403,872 Unearned premium reserves 371,437 329,562 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 48,720 52,032 Payable for securities purchased 18,198 - Payable to reinsurers 14,877 5,338 Deferred income taxes 9,745 3,014 Other liabilities   20,412     22,363   Total liabilities   897,030     816,181     Shareholders' equity Common stock: $0.01 par value; 30,000,000 shares authorized; 17,047,104 and 16,915,432 shares issued 170 169 Additional paid-in capital 161,726 157,167 Accumulated other comprehensive income, net of taxes 47,099 35,621 Retained earnings 542,983 518,925 Treasury stock, at cost: 1,728,645 shares   (55,569)   (55,569 ) Total shareholders' equity   696,409     656,313   Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$1,593,439   $ 1,472,494     Safety Insurance Group, Inc. and SubsidiariesConsolidated Statements of Operations(Unaudited)(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share data)               Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2012201120122011 Net earned premiums $162,493 $ 151,254 $477,099 $ 444,620 Net investment income 10,142 10,081 30,551 29,716 Net realized gains on investments 153 1,844 1,226 2,702 Finance and other service income   4,743     4,856     13,769     13,731   Total revenue   177,531     168,035     522,645     490,769     Losses and loss adjustment expenses 106,445 111,545 307,184 347,359 Underwriting, operating and related expenses 50,054 45,453 146,602 132,153 Interest expense   22     23     66     66   Total expenses   156,521     157,021     453,852     479,578     Income before income taxes 21,010 11,014 68,793 11,191 Income tax expense   6,676     2,204     20,294     2,249   Net income$14,334   $ 8,810   $48,499   $ 8,942     Earnings per weighted average common share: Basic $0.94   $ 0.58   $3.17   $ 0.59   Diluted $0.94   $ 0.58   $3.17   $ 0.59     Cash dividends paid per common share$0.60   $ 0.50   $1.60   $ 1.50     Number of shares used in computing earnings per share: Basic   15,312,178     15,187,430     15,277,560     15,157,762   Diluted   15,319,885     15,195,819     15,284,400     15,169,738     Safety Insurance Group, Inc. and SubsidiariesAdditional Premium Information(Unaudited)(Dollars in thousands)   Three Months EndedNine Months EndedSeptember 30,September 30,2012201120122011Written Premiums Direct $179,007 $ 167,168 $541,090 $ 504,382 Assumed 4,505 3,115 13,234 11,812 Ceded   (11,820)   (12,068 )   (36,341)   (32,635 ) Net written premiums $171,692   $ 158,215   $517,983   $ 483,559     Earned Premiums Direct $170,616 $ 158,631 $499,890 $ 465,583 Assumed 4,139 3,609 12,560 11,499 Ceded   (12,262)   (10,986 )   (35,351)   (32,462 ) Net earned premiums $162,493   $ 151,254   $477,099   $ 444,620   Safety Insurance Group, Inc.Office of Investor Relations877-951-2522InvestorRelations@SafetyInsurance.com