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ARGONAUT GROUP INC. ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 LOS ANGELES, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Argonaut Group Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: AGII) today announced consolidated operating income after tax of $19.8 million for the quarter, compared with $21.8 million for the same period last year. Operating income excludes gains on the sale of investments and, for the prior year, a non-recurring tax adjustment described below.
 In 1987, Argonaut Group adopted Financial Accounting Standard No. 96 ("FAS 96"), Accounting for Income Taxes. In February 1992, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued a new standard for accounting for income taxes, Financial Accounting Standard No. 109 ("FAS 109"), which supersedes FAS 96. The company adopted FAS 109 as of Jan. 1, 1992, and, accordingly, net income for 1992 reflects a one-time increase of $61.8 million ($2.34 per common share). This adjustment records the impact of expenses which were deducted for book purposes in prior years but could not be recognized in the tax provision under FAS 96.
 Consolidated net income was $20.1 million ($0.79 per common share) on total revenue of $114.7 million for the quarter ended March 31, 1993. For the first quarter of 1992, net income was $84.6 million ($3.20 per common share) on total revenue of $118.6 million.
 Total revenue includes gains on sales of investments of $0.4 million for the current quarter, compared with $1.5 million for the same period in 1992. The company cannot anticipate when or if similar gains may occur in the future.
 On July 27, 1989, the Argonaut Group board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 6 million shares of its outstanding common stock. No shares were reacquired during the first quarter of 1993, but the company has reacquired a total to date of 3,400,125 shares. There were 25,608,662 common shares outstanding at March 31, 1993, compared with 25,603,354 common shares outstanding at Dec. 31, 1992.
 Argonaut Group is primarily engaged in the selling, underwriting and servicing of workers compensation and other lines of property- casualty insurance. Argonaut Group is traded on NASDAQ's National Market System, ticker symbol AGII.
 ARGONAUT GROUP INC.
 Financial Highlights
 (In Millions)
 Three Months Ended
 March 31,
 1993 1992
 Earned premiums 86.2 85.2
 Net investment income 28.1 31.9
 Gains on sale of investments 0.4 1.5
 Total revenue 114.7 118.6
 Income before tax 27.8 30.7
 Income tax provision 7.7 7.9
 Income before cumulative effect of
 caccounting change 20.1 22.8
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting for income taxes --- 61.8
 Net income 20.1 84.6
 Net income per common share:
 Income before cumulative effect of
 accounting change $0.79 $0.86
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting for income taxes --- 2.34
 Net income per common share $0.79 $3.20
 Weighted average common shares 25,606,400 26,474,368
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Halliday, director-investor relations of Argonaut Group, 415-858-6602/
 (AGII)


CO: Argonaut Group Inc. ST: California IN: INS SU: ERN

LS -- LA021 -- 5385 04/13/93 16:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1993
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