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ORION CAPITAL CORPORATION REPORTS RESULTS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER OF 1993; OPERATING EARNINGS FOR THE QUARTER INCREASED 34 PERCENT

 NEW YORK, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Orion Capital Corporation (NYSE: OC) announced today that operating earnings after taxes increased 34 percent, to $12,750,000, or $1.08 per share, for the three months ended June 30, 1993, compared with $9,547,000, or 79 cents per share, in the second quarter of 1992. On a pretax basis, operating earnings rose 46 percent, to $15,517,000 in the second quarter of 1993, from $10,635,000 in 1992's second quarter.
 After-tax realized investment gains amounted to $1,157,000, or 10 cents per share, in the second quarter of 1993, vs. $384,000, or 3 cents per share in the same quarter of 1992. Net earnings for the three months ended June 30, 1993, increased to $13,907,000, or $1.18 per share, vs. $9,931,000, or 82 cents per share, for the second quarter of 1992.
 Pretax operating earnings increased to $29,632,000 for the six months ended June 30, 1993, vs. $21,816,000 for the same period in 1992. After taxes, operating earnings amounted to $24,404,000, or $2.04 per share, for the six months ended June 30, 1993, compared with $20,640,000, or $1.73 per share, for the first half of 1992.
 After-tax realized investment gains (losses) for the first six months of 1993 and 1992 amounted to $3,831,000, or 33 cents per share, and ($20,000), or less than 1 cent per share, respectively. The company recorded one-time net benefits of $11,825,000, or $1.01 per share, relating to the cumulative effect of adopting two new accounting standards on Jan. 1, 1993. Including realized investment gains and losses and the cumulative effect of accounting changes, net earnings amounted to $40,060,000, or $3.38 per share, and $20,620,000, or $1.73 per share, respectively.
 All per-share amounts presented above have been computed using fully diluted weighted average common shares outstanding, which were 11,741,000 and 11,598,000 in the second quarters of 1993 and 1992, respectively, and 11,740,000 and 11,426,000 for the six-month periods, respectively. The company called all of its shares of convertible preferred stock in the fourth quarter of 1992 and the first quarter of 1993. As a result of such calls, holders of most of the preferred shares opted to convert their holdings into shares of the company's common stock. The marked increase in the number of common shares outstanding caused by the conversions materially affected the comparability of per-share earnings computed on a primary basis. Such was not the case for per-share earnings computed on a fully diluted basis, since that method assumes that all shares of convertible preferred stock were converted as of Jan. 1, 1992. Consequently, the comparability of 1992's fully diluted earnings per share to those presented in the 1993 period was not materially affected by the preferred stock conversions.
 On a primary basis, for the second quarters of 1993 and 1992, net earnings were $1.18 per share and 97 cents per share, on 11,741,000 and 8,360,000 weighted average primary common shares outstanding, respectively. Realized investment gains for the same periods were 10 cents per share and 4 cents per share, respectively, and per-share operating earnings were $1.08 and 93 cents, respectively. For the first six months of 1993 and 1992, net earnings were $3.40 per primary share and $2.08 per primary share, on 11,648,000 and 8,190,000 weighted average primary common shares outstanding, respectively. The adoption of the new accounting standards resulted in a net cumulative effect of $1.01 per primary common share in the first six months of 1993. Year- to-date realized investment gains were 33 cents per share in the 1993 period and nil for 1992, with per-share operating earnings amounting to $2.06 and $2.08 on a primary basis for the six months ended June 30, 1993 and 1992, respectively.
 The company's combined ratio after policyholders' dividends, computed on a generally accepted accounting principles basis, was 102.6 percent and 103.3 percent for the second quarter and first six months of 1993, respectively. The combined ratios for the second quarter and first six months of 1992 were 105.3 percent and 105.4 percent, respectively.
 Net written premiums rose approximately 15 percent, to $160,872,000 for the second quarter of 1993, from $139,709,000 in 1992's second quarter. For the six months ended June 30, 1993, net written premiums amounted to $321,165,000, which compares to $272,240,000 for the same period in 1992. The rise in net written premiums during the first half of 1993 was attributable mainly to increased premium writings in the company's Connecticut Specialty Insurance Group and DPIC Companies unites. The policyholders' surplus of Orion Capital Companies amounted to $439,304,000 at June 30, 1993, up $119,217,000 from the $320,087,000 of policyholders' surplus at June 30, 1992, and up $53,501,000 from the year-end 1992 level of $385,803,000. The company's operating leverage ratio (net premiums written to policyholders' surplus) at June 30, 1993, was a conservative 1.47:1.
 Net investment income rose 8 percent, to $21,170,000 in the second quarter of 1993, from $19,671,000 in the same quarter of 1992. The rise resulted from a strong increase in operating cash flow, which more than offset the impact of the general decline in interest rates. Year-to- date net investment income was $42,847,000 and $40,373,000 for 1993 and 1992, respectively. Total revenues were $180,793,000 and 155,437,000, for the three months ended June 30, 1993 and 1992, respectively, and $356,857,000 and $320,351,000, for the six months ended June 30, 1993 and 1992, respectively. Cash flow from operations increased to $78,692,000 for the first half of 1993, from $29,437,000 in the same period of 1992. Included in operating cash flow for the first half of 1993 is $17,096,000 relating to a one-time receipt of deposit funds under a spread-loss program written by DPIC Companies.
 The company's interest in the earnings of Guaranty National Corporation, recorded on an "equity accounting" basis, amounted to $2,587,000 and $2,678,000 for the second quarter of 1993 and 1992, respectively, and $5,647,000 and $5,342,000 for the respective six-month periods.
 Book value per share grew approximately 12.8 percent during the first half of 1993, to $30.28 at June 30, 1993, on 11,627,000 common shares outstanding, up from $26.85 on 10,480,000 common shares outstanding at the end of 1992. Shareholders' equity totaled $352,096,000 at June 30, 1993, compared with $287,633,000 at June 30, 1992, and $311,287,000 at the end of last year.
 Not included in stockholders' equity is approximately $66,695,000 of unrealized pretax gain at June 30, 1993, relating to the 6,143,000 shares of Guaranty National common stock held by the company which were carried at $69,996,000, or $11.39 per Guaranty National common shares, using the equity method of accounting. The second-quarter closing price of Guaranty National on the New York Stock Exchange was $22.25 per share.
 Per-share amounts and the number of shares outstanding have been restated for all prior periods to reflect the company's 5-for-4 common stock split as of Nov. 20, 1992.
 Tax benefits generated from amortization of the "fresh start" adjustment available to the company under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 were $316,000, or 4 cents per primary share and 3 cents per fully diluted share, for the second quarter of 1992. Operating earnings were not affected by "fresh start" tax benefits in the 1993 tax period.
 Orion Capital is engaged in the specialty property and casualty insurance business through various wholly owned insurance subsidiaries, and through its 49.3 percent-ownership interest in Guaranty National Corporation.
 ORION CAPITAL CORPORATION
 (Unaudited; 000s omitted, except per-share data)
 Periods ended Three Months Six Months
 June 30 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Income Statement Data:
 Revenues $180,793 $155,437 $356,857 $320,351
 Operating earnings 12,750 9,547 24,404 20,640
 After-tax investment gains
 (losses) 1,157 384 3,831 (20)
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- 11,825 --
 Net earnings 13,907 9,931 40,060 20,620
 Per Primary Common Share:
 Operating earnings $1.08 $.93 $2.06 $2.08
 After-tax investment gains
 (losses) .10 .04 .33 --
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- 1.01 --
 Net earnings 1.18 .97 3.40 2.08
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 11,741 8,360 11,648 8,190
 Per Fully Diluted Common Share:
 Operating earnings $1.08 $.79 $2.04 $1.73
 After-tax investment gains
 (losses) .10 .03 .33 --
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes -- -- 1.01 --
 Net earnings 1.18 .82 3.38 1.73
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 11,741 11,598 11,740 11,426
 Balance Sheet Data:
 Shareholders' equity at
 June 30 $352,096 $287,633
 Book value per common share
 at June 30 $30.28 $27.09
 Common shares outstanding
 at June 30 11,627 8,352
 Note: Per-share figures for the 1992 period have been adjusted for the 5-for-4 stock split of the company's common stock on Nov. 20, 1992.
 -0- 7/29/93
 /CONTACT: Vincent T. Papa of Orion Capital Corporation, 212-332-8080, or Robert D. Siegfried or Leslie J. Uyeda of Kekst & Company, 212-593-2655, for Orion Capital Corporation/
 (OC)


CO: Orion Capital Corporation ST: New York IN: INS SU: ERN

WB-CK -- NY031 -- 7466 07/29/93 11:34 EDT
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Date:Jul 29, 1993
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