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TRANSATLANTIC HOLDINGS, INC. ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 TRANSATLANTIC HOLDINGS, INC. ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 NEW YORK, N.Y., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TRH) reported that its net income in the third quarter of 1992 was $6.7 million, or $0.30 per common share, compared with $16.5 million, or $0.72 per common share, in the same period of 1991. For the first nine months of 1992, net income decreased 9.0 percent to $47.1 million, or $2.06 per common share, versus $51.7 million, or $2.26 per common share.
 Fueled principally by third quarter Hurricane Andrew, the most costly natural catastrophe in history, and Hurricane Iniki, 1992 is the worst year on record for insurance industry catastrophe losses. The Company's results for the current quarter and first nine months of 1992 contain losses totalling $18 million arising from such storms. Typhoon Omar had an insignificant effect on the Company.
 Income before income taxes in the third quarter amounted to $7.5 million, compared to $20.0 million recorded in the same period of 1991. For the first nine months of 1992, income before income taxes totalled $55.2 million versus $63.0 million for the comparable prior year period, a decrease of 12.4 percent.
 The "fresh start" tax benefit reduced the provision for income taxes by $60,000 and $468,000 in the third quarter of 1992 and 1991, respectively. The benefit for the first nine months amounted to $774,000 and $1.4 million in 1992 and 1991, respectively.
 At September 30, 1992, TRH's consolidated assets and stockholders' equity were approximately $2.4 billion and $537.7 million, respectively, representing increases of $53.8 million and $7.2 million, respectively, over the June 30, 1992 amounts.
 Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves increased $39.3 million in the third quarter of 1992 to $1.4 billion, bringing the increase in loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for the first nine months of 1992 to $127.6 million. The market value of bonds exceeded the carrying value of $1.7 billion by $136.5 million. The Company's conservative fixed maturity portfolio consists primarily of diversified and liquid taxable bonds and tax-exempt municipal bonds and its equity portfolio emphasizes quality growth companies. The Company has neither junk bonds nor real estate.
 Net premiums written in the third quarter remained level at $119.2 million compared with $119.3 million in last year's third quarter. For the first nine months of 1992, net premiums written decreased 1.5 percent to $357.2 million from $362.8 million.
 The combined ratio was 121.2 for the third quarter of 1992 versus 107.9 for the comparable 1991 quarter. The third quarter loss ratios for 1992 and 1991 were 97.9 and 83.2, respectively. The underwriting expense ratios for the third quarters of 1992 and 1991 were 23.3 and 24.7, respectively. For the first nine months of 1992, the combined ratio was 112.6 versus 107.2 for the same prior year period. The loss ratios were 86.9 and 81.7, respectively. The first nine months underwriting expense ratio was 25.7 versus 25.5 for the comparable prior year period. Third quarter catastrophe losses from hurricanes Andrew and Iniki totalling $18 million produced the significant increases in the loss and combined ratios in the 1992 periods. Excluding the effect of hurricanes Andrew and Iniki, the combined ratios for the third quarter and first nine months of 1992 would have been 106.1 and 107.5, respectively.
 Net investment income rose 6.3 percent to $32.8 million in the third quarter of 1992 from $30.8 million in last year's third quarter. For the first nine months of 1992, net investment income rose 7.8 percent to $96.7 million from $89.6 million in the comparable prior year period.
 In the third quarter of 1992, realized capital losses, net of income taxes, totalled $80,000 versus $533,000 in the same 1991 quarter. For the first nine months of 1992 and 1991, realized capital gains, net of income taxes, were $3.8 million and $1.5 million, respectively.
 In the third quarter of 1992, a dividend of $0.06 per common share was declared by the Board of Directors to stockholders of record as of November 30, 1992, payable on December 16, 1992.
 In February 1992, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes." This standard supersedes the current standard, which generally provides for the income statement approach of matching tax expense to pre-tax income. The new standard requires a balance sheet approach to determine the values of assets and liabilities for financial accounting and reporting for income taxes. Had the Company adopted the new standard on a cumulative basis as of September 30, 1992, a tax benefit of approximately $45 million, or $1.97 per common share, would have been recognized. If, upon adoption, SFAS No. 109 were retroactively applied to prior years, the return on equity approximating 15 percent or more in each of the years 1987 through 1991 would have been even higher. Transatlantic has elected to implement SFAS No. 109 on a cumulative catch-up basis in the first quarter of 1993.
 Commenting on third quarter results, Joseph V. Taranto, President, said, "The recent surge of catastrophic events, in particular, hurricanes Andrew and Iniki, has resulted in substantial losses industry wide. As an apparent consequence, a few reinsurers have stopped or significantly curtailed their underwriting operations.
 "Although our results were adversely affected by these catastrophes, our net income for the first nine months of 1992 modestly declined compared to 1991 and stockholders' equity continued to grow during the quarter. Our underwriting discipline and superior financial strength have enabled us to withstand industry turbulence of great proportions-- the costliest year on
record for insured catastrophes. Excluding the impact of hurricanes Andrew and Iniki, our results for both the third quarter and nine months of 1992 were quite favorable as compared to the prior year periods.
 "As more insurers and reinsurers are experiencing significant financial distress from recent catastrophes and lingering asset quality problems, ceding companies are looking to Transatlantic to satisfy their reinsurance needs as the 'flight to quality' continues to an even greater extent than before. Transatlantic offers superior financial security, underwriting integrity and unique expertise as a market leader.
 "As the insurance industry works its way through this difficult year, we hope to see sensible underwriting and free market forces prevail in correcting rate inadequacies. Weak cash flows, low investment yields and decreasing capacity in certain lines are all evidence of a need for rate corrections.
 "We are continuing our expansion into the London and European markets through our London office. Niche sectors such as marine, aviation, specialty risks and non-traditional programs continue to be targeted while we nurture our more traditional portfolio. The changes at Lloyd's and in Europe continue to give rise to unique opportunities."
 Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. (TRH) is a leading U.S. international reinsurance organization with operations throughout the United States and foreign offices in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Toronto. With assets approximating $2.4 billion, its subsidiaries, Transatlantic Reinsurance Company and Putnam Reinsurance Company (each rated "A+ (Superior)" by A.M. Best Company), offer reinsurance capacity for a full range of products on both a treaty and facultative basis and have proven their strength, stability and service over the years. Our companies write all types of property and casualty risks from standard to complex, including professional liability and environmental liability.
 TRANSATLANTIC HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Financial Highlights
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Three months ended
 Percent
 Sept. 30, 1992 1991 Change
 Statement of Operations Data:
 Net premiums written $119,244 $119,342 (0.1)
 Net premiums earned 118,912 115,467 3.0
 Adjusted underwriting loss (25,232) (10,378) 143.1
 Net investment income 32,801 30,849 6.3
 Loss Ratio 97.9 83.2
 Expense Ratio 23.3 24.7
 Combined Ratio 121.2 107.9
 Realized capital losses ($100) ($667) (85.0)
 Operating income 7,469 19,804 (62.3)
 Other income 22 153 (85.6)
 Income before income taxes 7,491 19,957 (62.5)
 Net income 6,717 16,484 (59.3)
 Earnings per common share $0.30 $0.72 (59.3)
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 22,866 22,861
 Nine months ended
 Percent
 Sept. 30, 1992 1991 Change
 Statement of Operations Data:
 Net premiums written $357,230 $362,838 (1.5)
 Net premiums earned 354,484 373,799 (5.2)
 Adjusted underwriting loss (45,350) (26,986) 68.1
 Net investment income 96,678 89,643 7.8
 Loss Ratio 86.9 81.7
 Expense Ratio 25.7 25.5
 Combined Ratio 112.6 107.2
 Realized capital gains $4,767 $1,864 155.7
 Operating income 56,095 64,521 (13.1)
 Other deductions (859) (1,476) (41.8)
 Income before income taxes 55,236 63,045 (12.4)
 Net income 47,061 51,694 (9.0)
 Earnings per common share $2.06 $2.26 (9.0)
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 22,864 22,859
 Sept.30, 1992 Dec. 31, 1991
 Selected Balance Sheet Data:
 Investments and cash $1,950,666 $1,793,759
 Total assets 2,381,465 2,203,548
 Loss and loss adjustment expense
 reserves 1,368,718 1,241,160
 Stockholders' equity 537,675 499,592
 Book value per common share $23.51 $21.85
 -0- 11/5/92
 /CONTACT: David W. Smith of Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., 212-770-2162/
 (TRH) CO: Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. ST: New York IN: MAR SU: ERN


TS-SM -- NY005 -- 2881 11/05/92 09:03 EST
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