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MARKEL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Markel Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MAKL) announced strong earnings growth for the third quarter and nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 1993. Earnings per primary share were $1.01 for the third quarter and $3.02 for the nine- month period ended Sept. 30, 1993.
 Alan I. Kirshner, chairman and chief executive officer, commented: "We are again pleased with the continued profitability of our underwriting operations. Underwriting profits provide capital for investment in the technologies which will support the long-term growth of our business. Furthermore, with the completion of our $75 million public debt offering, we have strengthened our financial position and enhanced our ability to take advantage of profitable opportunities in our chosen markets."
 Following is a comparison of 1993 and 1992 quarterly and year-to- date results on a per share basis (net of taxes):
 Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
 Sept. 30 Sept. 30
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Primary earnings per share
 Operations $0.58 $0.40 $1.70 $1.35
 Realized gains 0.40 0.35 1.29 0.72
 Net Income before
 non-recurring items $0.98 $0.75 $2.99 $2.07
 Gain on the sale of
 brokerage programs -- -- -- 2.50
 Relocation costs -- -- -- (0.60)
 Net Effect of Omnibus
 Budget Reconciliation
 Act of 1993 0.03 -- 0.03 --
 Net Income $1.01 $0.75 $3.02 $3.97
 Net income for the third quarter increased 37 percent to $5.7 million, or $1.01 per primary share, from $4.1 million, or 75 cents per primary share reported in 1992. Underwriting results compared favorably with the prior year as evidenced by a 99 percent combined loss and expense ratio for the third quarter of 1993, compared to 100 percent last year. The company recorded a 3 cent per primary share benefit as a result of the revaluation of its deferred tax asset in accordance with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The benefit was net of an increase in the company's current provision for income taxes.
 For the nine-month period, net income before non-recurring items increased 47 percent to $16.7 million, or $2.99 per primary share, from $11.3 million in the prior year, or $2.07 per primary share. Net income for the nine-month period in 1993 was $16.9 million, or $3.02 per primary share, including a $0.2 million benefit, or 3 cent per primary share, from the net effect of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Net income for the nine-month period in 1992 included two non- recurring items: a $13.8 million net gain, or $2.50 per primary share, from the sale of the company's Governmental Programs Division and a $3.3 million after-tax provision, or 60 cents per primary share, for the relocation of the company's Markel Rhulen Underwriters Division (MRU) from Monticello, N.Y., to Richmond. Net income for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 1992 was $21.9 million, or $3.97 per primary share.
 Operating revenues for the nine-month period rose 11 percent to $167.5 million from $150.5 million in 1992. Growth in earned premiums due to higher volume and higher net retentions more than compensated for lower brokerage commission revenues, which declined due to the sale or discontinuation of non-underwritten programs. Higher realized gains from the sale of investments mitigated the impact of lower net investment income due to lower interest rates. Operating income, including amortization of intangible assets, increased 77 percent to $27.5 million from $15.6 million last year. The increase was the result of higher underwriting profits, higher total investment returns and the effect of a $5.0 million first-quarter 1992 pre-tax charge to provide for the relocation of MRU. The company reported a 96 percent combined ratio for the nine-month period in 1993, compared to 99 percent for the nine-month period in 1992. Underwriting results improved due to growth in earned premiums and favorable loss experience.
 Long-term debt at Sept. 30, 1993, was $96.1 million, compared to $100.6 million at Dec. 31, 1992. On Nov. 2, 1993, the company completed a $75 million public debt offering and utilized the proceeds, along with cash on hand, to repay bank loans. As a result of the transaction, the company's long-term debt decreased to $78.7 million. On a pro forma basis, the company's ratio of long-term debt to long-term debt and stockholders' equity improved to 37 percent from 42 percent at Sept. 30, 1993, and 48 percent at Dec. 31, 1992.
 Book value per common share increased 22 percent to $24.68 at Sept. 30, 1993, from $20.24 at Dec. 31, 1992. The increase was due to net income and unrealized gains in the company's equity portfolio.
 Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, the company seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the company are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.
 MARKEL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (Dollars in Thousands, except per share data)
 Unaudited
 Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Operating Revenues:
 Earned premiums $51,865 $38,206 $137,367 $109,738
 Commissions 115 5,108 815 13,530
 Net investment income 5,944 6,550 16,794 20,320
 Net realized gains
 from the sales of
 investments 3,470 2,872 11,096 5,987
 Other 569 440 1,421 904
 Total operating
 revenues 61,963 53,176 167,493 150,479
 Operating expenses:
 Losses and loss
 adjustment expenses 33,572 25,806 85,763 71,165
 Underwriting,
 acquisition and
 insurance expenses 17,601 12,398 45,979 37,203
 Other 67 5,648 2,699 15,614
 Amortization of
 intangible assets 2,098 2,241 5,546 5,931
 Relocation costs -- -- -- 5,000
 Total operating
 expenses 53,338 46,093 139,987 134,913
 Operating income 8,625 7,083 27,506 15,566
 Other income (expenses):
 Gain on sale of
 brokerages programs -- -- -- 23,271
 Interest (990) (1,198) (4,292) (4,088)
 Total other income
 (expenses) (990) (1,198) (4,292) 19,183
 Income before
 income taxes 7,635 5,885 23,214 34,749
 Income taxes 1,985 1,773 6,347 12,893
 Net Income $ 5,650 $ 4,112 $ 16,867 $ 21,856
 Earnings per share:
 Primary $ 1.01 $ 0.75 $ 3.02 $ 3.97
 Fully diluted $ 1.01 $ 0.73 $ 3.01 $ 3.88
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: Darrell D. Martin of Markel Corporation, 804-965-1635/
 (MAKL)


CO: Markel Corporation ST: Virginia IN: INS SU: ERN

DT-KD -- DC020 -- 0663 11/04/93 11:19 EST
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