News Column

Argo Group Reports Fourth Quarter Net Income of $47.8 Million, or $1.74 Per Diluted Share

March 1, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Investment Weekly News -- Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ: AGII) announced financial results for the three and twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2013. "Strong fourth quarter results capped off a year of solid progress," said Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III. "Over the year, we achieved profitable top line growth and generated improved underwriting margins in all our businesses. We find ourselves well positioned to benefit from these themes as we enter the new year." HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER ENDED DEC. 31, 2013: Gross written premiums were $412.9 million, an increase of $23.2 million or 6.0% over the fourth quarter of 2012.

The combined ratio was 95.2% compared to 109.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net favorable prior-year reserve development was $12.1 million (benefiting the combined ratio by 3.6 points), compared with $9.6 million (benefiting the combined ratio by 3.2 points) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Estimated pre-tax catastrophe losses were negligible compared to $47.9 million or 16.3 points in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The current accident year loss ratio, excluding catastrophes, was 59.4% compared to 58.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net income was $47.8 million or $1.74 per diluted share compared to a net loss of $4.7 million or $0.17 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2012.

After-tax operating income was $22.6 million or $0.82 per diluted share compared to an operating loss of $5.9 million or $0.21 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Book value per share increased 3% to $58.96 from $57.38 at Sept. 30, 2013, and 7% from $55.22 at Dec. 31, 2012.

During the quarter the Company repurchased $6.4 million or 149,744 shares of its common stock at an average price of $42.62, which represents 0.6% of net shares outstanding at Sept. 30, 2013. HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DEC. 31, 2013: Gross written premiums were $1.9 billion, an increase of $142.7 million or 8.2% over 2012.

The combined ratio was 97.5% compared to 104.6% in 2012.

Net favorable prior-year reserve development was $33.6 million (benefiting the combined ratio by 2.6 points), compared with $27.4 million (benefiting the combined ratio by 2.3 points) in 2012.

Estimated pre-tax catastrophe losses were $22.7 million or 1.9 points on the combined ratio compared to $69.8 million or 6.2 points in 2012.

The current accident year loss ratio, excluding catastrophes, was 58.6% compared to 60.6% in 2012.

Net income was $143.2 million or $5.14 per diluted share compared to $52.3 million or $1.83 per diluted share in 2012.

After-tax operating income was $85.4 million or $3.06 per diluted share compared to $38.0 million or $1.33 per diluted share in 2012.

In 2013, the Company repurchased $45.1 million or 1.1 million shares of its common stock at an average share price of $41.04, which represents 4.4% of net shares outstanding at Dec. 31, 2012.

At Dec. 31, 2013, cash and investments totaled $4.2 billion with a net pre-tax unrealized gain of approximately $243.2 million.

Keywords for this news article include: Finance, Argo Group International Holdings Ltd..

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Source: Investment Weekly News


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