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ORION CAPITAL REPORTS RECORD OPERATING RESULTS FOR 1991

 ORION CAPITAL REPORTS RECORD OPERATING RESULTS FOR 1991
 NEW YORK, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Orion Capital Corporation announced today that, for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, operating earnings increased to $46,472,000, or $6.14 per share based upon 6,377,000 weighted average primary common shares outstanding, representing the company's fourth successive year of record operating results. For the 1990 year, operating earnings were $32,829,000, or $3.93 per share based upon 6,458,000 weighted average primary common shares outstanding. Investment losses after taxes were $1,804,000, or $.28 per share, in 1991, vs. losses of $7,368,000, or $1.14 per share, in 1990. Net earnings for 1991 were $44,668,000, or $5.86 per share, compared with $25,461,000, or $2.79 per share, for 1990.
 In the fourth quarter of 1991, the company realized a pre-tax gain of $33,931,000 from the initial public offering of 6,250,000 shares, or 50.4 percent, of its Guaranty National Corporation unit. At year-end 1991, the company increased its provisions for losses and loss adjustment expenses by $25,000,000 pre-tax, based on the results of a recently completed study by a major independent actuarial consulting firm. Both of these non-recurring items are included in operating earnings.
 Alen R. Gruber, chairman and chief executive officer of Orion Capital, stated that, "Including the special year-end provision, and excluding Guaranty National, our accident year combined ratio has hovered around 100 percent for each of the past five years and was 100.6 percent in 1991. This very strong performance, which has been validated by the actuarial review and which is much better than that of the overall property and casualty insurance industry, is a result of our strategy of concentrating on those specialty businesses where we can provide value-added benefits to our insureds."
 Gruber added that, "The year-end reserve addition has the beneficial side effect of offsetting a major portion of the income tax liability on the Guaranty National gain. We believe that we now have one of the highest quality balance sheets in our industry, and that we are very well positioned for continued growth in operating earnings in the future."
 Operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 1991 were $21,390,000 on a pre-tax basis, and $17,871,000, or $2.51 per share, after taxes, compared with after-tax operating earnings of $8,556,000, or $1.05 per share, in the fourth quarter of the prior year. After-tax investment losses were $1,675,000, or $.26 per share, in the last quarter of 1991, vs. $6,298,000 of investment losses, or $.99 per share, in the corresponding quarter of 1990. Fourth quarter net income was $16,196,000, or $2.25 per share, and $2,258,000, or $.06 per share, in 1991 and 1990, respectively.
 On a fully-diluted basis, operating earnings amounted to $4.97 per share and $3.48 per share, on 9,014,000 and 8,153,000 fully-diluted shares, for the years 1991 and 1990, respectively. After-tax investment losses per fully-diluted share amounted to $.20 and $.90, and net earnings were $4.77 per share and $2.58 per share, respectively.
 For the fourth quarters of 1991 and 1990, operating earnings were $1.94 per share and $1.05 per share, on 9,011,000 and 6,394,000 fully- diluted shares, respectively. After-tax investment losses per fully- diluted share amounted to $.19 and $.99, respectively, and net earnings were $1.75 per share and $.06 per share, respectively.
 The combined ratio after policyholders' dividends, computed on a generally accepted accounting principles basis, was 109.4 percent for the 1991 year, which the company believes compares very favorably with the average combined ratio expected for the overall property and casualty insurance industry, especially considering the company's strong reserving during the year. In 1990, the combined ratio of 105.7 percent beat the industry's result by more than four percentage points.
 Net written premiums for the fourth quarter and full year were $152,350,000 and $734,065,000 in 1991, respectively, compared with $126,091,000 and $684,944,000, respectively, in 1990. Reflecting the increase in net written premiums and the gain from the Guaranty National sale, total revenues rose to $209,267,000 and $837,294,000 in the 1991 last quarter and year, respectively, from $163,716,000 and $783,879,000 in 1990, respectively.
 Net investment income was $24,866,000 in the final quarter of 1991, compared with $26,515,000 in the same quarter of 1990. For the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, net investment income was $100,206,000, as compared with $96,908,000 for 1990.
 For the fourth quarter of 1991, cash flow from operations (excluding the proceeds from the Guaranty National sale) increased to $44,299,000, more than double the level achieved in the fourth quarter of 1990 of $19,378,000. On a year-to-year basis, cash flow from operations increased to $139,904,000 in 1991, from $96,820,000 in 1990.
 Shareholders' equity increased to $249,829,000 at Dec. 31, 1991, up 45 percent on a per share basis to $29.68 (after deduction for the liquidation value of the company's two issues of convertible preferred stock) on 6,339,000 shares outstanding, from $191,958,000, or $20.42 per common share on 6,354,000 shares outstanding, at Dec. 31, 1990.
 At Dec. 31, 1991, the remaining 6,143,000 shares of Guaranty National common stock were carried on the books of the company at $56,408,000, or $9.18 per Guaranty National common share, using the equity method of accounting from Nov. 20, 1991, the date of the sale. The year-end closing market price of Guaranty National on the New York Stock Exchange was $14.50 per share. For the period from Jan. 1, 1991 through Nov. 20, 1991, the company has included the results of Guaranty National on a fully-consolidated basis.
 Tax benefits generated from amortization of the "fresh start" adjustments available to the company under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 were $489,000 and $373,000, or $.08 and $.06 per primary common share, and $.05 and $.06 per fully-diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 1991 and 1990, respectively.
 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
 Income Statement Data
 (000s omitted, except per share data)
 Period ended Three months Year
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Revenues $209,267 $163,716 $837,294 $783,879
 Operating earnings 17,871 8,556 46,472 32,829
 After-tax investment losses (1,675) (6,298) (1,804) (7,368)
 Net earnings 16,196 2,258 44,668 25,461
 Per Primary Common Share:
 Operating earnings 2.51 1.05 6.14 3.93
 After-tax investment losses (.26) (.99) (.28) (1.14)
 Net earnings 2.25 .06 5.86 2.79
 Weighted average common shares
 outstanding 6,400 6,389 6,377 6,458
 Per Fully-Diluted Common Share:
 Operating earnings 1.94 1.05 4.97 3.48
 After-tax investment losses (.19) (.99) (.20) (.90)
 Net earnings 1.75 .06 4.77 2.58
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 9,011 6,394 9,014 8,153
 BALANCE SHEET DATA
 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Shareholders' equity $249,829 $191,958
 Book value per common share $29.68 $20.42
 Common shares outstanding 6,339 6,354
 -0- 2/24/92
 /CONTACT: Vincent T. Papa of Orion Capital, 212-332-8080, or Robert D. Siegfried of Kekst & Company, 212-593-2655, for Orion Capital/
 (OC) CO: Orion Capital Corporation ST: New York IN: INS SU: ERN


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