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W.R. BERKLEY ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE QUARTER AND YEAR ENDED DEC. 31, 1991

 W.R. BERKLEY ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 FOR THE QUARTER AND YEAR ENDED DEC. 31, 1991
 GREENWICH, Conn., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- W.R. Berkley Corporation (NASDAQ: BKLY), an insurance holding company, today announced that net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991, increased $11,099,000 (62 cents per share) from $7,773,000 (44 cents per share) recorded in the comparable prior-year period. For the full year 1991, net income was $46,584,000 ($2.61 per share) compared with $36,117,000 ($2.03 per share) earned during 1990.
 Operating income, which is net income minus realized investment losses, was $13,106,000 (73 cents per share) and $51,407,000 ($2.88 per share) for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1991. The corresponding 1990 amounts were $20,672,000 ($.1.17 per share) and $49,214,000 ($2.77 per share), respectively.
 The company noted, however, that the 1991 and 1990 operating results were significantly affected by several items which complicate the comparison of the respective periods. The 1990 annual earnings included a special charge to earnings of $7,920,000 (44 cents per share) resulting from an arbitration award affecting one of the company's subsidiaries. This 1990 special charge was the net result of a third quarter charge to earnings of $10,560,000 (59 cents per share) to reflect the original award, followed by a fourth quarter 1990 benefit to earnings of $2,640,000 (15 cents per share) recorded when the arbitration panel issued a corrected award more favorable to the subsidiary.
 In addition, a comparison of operating results for both the quarterly and yearly periods should take into account "Fresh Start" tax benefits under the 1990 and 1986 federal income tax acts which improved the results of operations for the three- and 12-month periods in 1990 by $2,535,000 (14 cents per share) and $3.3 million (19 cents per share), respectively. The comparable 1991 results were achieved without any "Fresh Start" benefits.
 Total revenues for the three- and 12-month periods ended Dec. 31, 1991, were $131,184,000 and $541,251,000, respectively, in comparison with total revenues of $125,066,000 and $538,056,000 recorded for the corresponding 1990 periods. Operating revenues, however, were essentially unchanged for the quarterly and annual periods, as increases in investment and service fee income offset a decrease in earned premium.
 Net premiums written for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1991, were $91,938,000 and $411,660,000, respectively. On a pro forma basis, adjusting for the reinsurance transaction described below, these amounts represented declines of 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively, in comparison with premiums written during the corresponding 1990 periods. The reduction in volume was due to the continued efforts of the company's subsidiaries to maintain their pricing and underwriting integrity in an increasingly competitive insurance market, as well as to a fourth quarter 1991 transaction in which the company's reinsurance subsidiary canceled its obligation to pay losses under a contract by reversing $5.3 million of previously recorded written premiums.
 William R. Berkley, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, noted that the company's insurance operating units continued to produce acceptable operating results with a combined ratio among the best in the industry. He stated, "Throughout the past two years we have maintained our underwriting discipline and elected to emphasize profitability over growth because we believe that premium rates in certain classes of business are below the levels which will produce an acceptable return on capital. Although insurance industry operating conditions remain difficult, we are utilizing this period of intense competition to better prepare the company for future opportunities when the operating environment improves."
 W.R. Berkley Corporation is a holding company whose subsidiaries operate in three major segments of the insurance business: regional property casualty insurance; specialty lines of insurance (including excess and surplus lines, commercial transportation and reinsurance); and insurance service operations (including management of alternative insurance market mechanisms.)
 The comparative figures are to follow:
 W.R. BERKLEY CORPORATION
 (Amounts in thousands, except per-share data)
 Periods ended Three months Year
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Revenues:
 Net premiums written $91,938 $100,785 $411,660 $419,334
 Change in unearned premiums 7,135 6,633 (3,527) 4,876
 Premiums earned 99,073 107,418 408,133 424,210
 Net investment income 21,562 20,308 85,103 80,258
 Management fees and
 commission income earned 12,112 11,395 50,148 45,881
 Realized losses on
 investments (2,007) (15,266) (4,823) (15,566)
 Other income 444 1,211 2,690 3,273
 Total revenues 131,184 125,066 541,251 538,056
 Operating costs and expenses:
 Losses and loss expenses (70,643) (75,372) (293,706) (304,713)
 Other operating costs and
 expenses(A) (43,976) (37,781) (176,843) (182,018)
 Interest expense (2,716) (2,488) (10,618) (10,315)
 Income before federal
 income taxes 13,849 9,425 60,084 41,010
 Federal income tax
 provision(B) (2,750) (1,652) (13,500) (4,893)
 Net income (A)(B)(C) 11,099 7,773 46,584 36,117
 Net income per
 share (A)(B)(C)(D) $.62 $.44 $2.61 $2.03
 Average shares
 outstanding(D) 17,896 17,744 17,862 17,774
 (A) -- The 1990 amounts reflect the effect of a special charge which resulted from an arbitration proceeding involving one of the company's subsidiaries and several of its former reinsurers. The charge, which is reflected in other operating costs and expenses, reduced net income for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1990, by $7,920,000 (44 cents per share). A corrected award resulted in net income increasing by $2,640,000 (15 cents per share) for the three months ended Dec. 31, 1990.
 (B) -- Results of operations for the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1990, include Fresh Start tax benefits provided by the federal tax acts of 1986 and 1990 of $2,535,000 (14 cents per share) and $3.3 million (19 cents per share), respectively. Results of operations for the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1991, include no such tax benefits.
 (C) -- Results of operations include, on an after-tax basis, realized investment losses of $2,007,000 (11 cents per share) and $4,823,000 (27 cents per share) of the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1991, respectively. For the comparable 1990 periods, results of operations include, on an after-tax basis, realized investment losses of $12,899,0000 (73 cents per share) and $13,097,000 (74 cents per share), respectively.
 (D) -- Net income per share and average shares outstanding give effect to the three-for-two stock split paid May 3, 1991.
 Supplementary Information
 (Amounts in thousands, except per-share data)
 Periods ended Three months Year
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990 1991 1990
 After-tax income amounts:
 Operating income before
 items listed below: $13,106 $15,497 $51,407 $53,834
 Fresh Start benefits -- 2,535 -- 3,300
 Special charge -- 2,640 -- (7,920)
 Operating income $13,106 $20,672 $51,407 $49,214
 Realized losses on
 investments (2,007) (12,899) (4,823) (13,097)
 Net income 11,099 7,773 46,584 36,117
 After-tax per share
 income amounts(A):
 Operating income before
 items listed below: $.73 $.88 $2.88 $3.02
 Fresh Start benefits -- .14 -- .19
 Special charge -- .15 -- (.44)
 Operating income $.73 $1.17 $2.88 $2.77
 Realized losses on
 investments (.11) (.73) (.27) (.74)
 Net income $.62 $.44 $2.61 $2.03
 Balance Sheet Information
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990
 Investments:
 Invested cash $89,919 $94,886
 Fixed maturity securities 1,120,295 962,752
 Equity securities 28,431 36,334
 Total investments $1,238,645 $1,093,972
 Total assets $1,525,975 $1,408,335
 Reserves for losses and loss
 expenses ("GAAP") 680,109 642,866
 Long-term debt 106,090 96,061
 Stockholders' equity 421,736 350,131
 Common shares outstanding(A) 17,900 17,759
 Stockholders' equity per share(A) $23.56 $19.72
 (A) -- Per-share information and common shares outstanding give effect to the three-for-two stock split paid May 3, 1991.
 -0- 2/28/92
 /CONTACT: John D. Vollaro, executive vice president of W.R. Berkley, 203-629-2880/
 (BKLY) CO: W.R. Berkley Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: INS SU: ERN


CK-TS -- NY015 -- 3678 02/28/92 11:23 EST
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