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W. R. BERKLEY CORPORATION ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THIRD QUARTER AND FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 1993

 GREENWICH, Conn., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- W. R. Berkley Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: BKLY), a group of property casualty insurance and insurance services companies, today announced that net income for the third quarter of 1993 was $12,765,000, or $.71 per share, compared with $9,690,000, or $.54 per share, reported for the same period last year. The 1993 quarterly results included after tax realized gains of $6,151,000, or $.34 per share, and special charges of $2,044,000, or $.11 per share, resulting from various job separation arrangements, including those incurred in connection with the restructuring of Signet Star Holdings, Inc. For the 1992 third quarter, results included after tax realized gains of $362,000, or $.02 per share, and losses resulting from hurricanes Andrew and Iniki were $2,632,000, or $.15 per share.
 For the first nine months of 1993, net income was $38,624,000, or $2.14 per share, compared with $36,278,000, or $2.02 per share, earned during 1992 (before cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle). After tax realized gains for the 1993 nine month period increased to $10,470,000, or $.58 per share, from $1,582,000, or $.08 per share, a year earlier. The adoption of FASB Statement 109, Accounting for Income Taxes, added $5,902,000, or $.33 per share, to net income for the first nine months of 1992.
 Net premiums written during the third quarter of 1993 increased 2 percent to $111,725,000 as growth from on-going business of 7 percent was offset by a reduction in premiums resulting from the partial disposition of Signet Reinsurance Company described below. For the first nine months of 1993, net premiums written increased 7 percent over the corresponding 1992 period to $340,769,000 primarily as a result of three businesses started in 1992. Total revenues (excluding realized investment gains or losses) for the 1993 third quarter and year-to-date were $139,216,000 and $421,976,000, respectively. Total revenues were essentially flat compared with the prior year, as a reduced level of net investment income offset the increase in premium volume. The decrease in investment income was attributable to a reduction in investable assets resulting from the partial disposition of the Company's reinsurance operations in the third quarter and to a decline in yields available in the financial markets.
 The Company completed the formation of Signet Star Holdings, Inc. on July 1, 1993. As previously announced, Signet Star acquired 100 percent of the stock of Signet Reinsurance Company from the Company and 100 percent of the stock of Signet Star Reinsurance Company from General Re Corporation. The Company received 60 percent of the stock of Signet Star in exchange for Signet Reinsurance Company. The Company noted that the operating results of Signet Reinsurance were consolidated with the Company's other operations prior to July 1, 1993; whereas after that date, the Company began reporting its share of Signet Star's earnings using the equity method of accounting.
 William R. Berkley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, made the following comments, "The underwriting cycle continues in a depressed state. With investment returns at their current levels, long tail lines of business are less attractive than at any time in the past eight years. The Company has reduced the duration of its bond portfolio to reflect the shorter tail of our liabilities, we have also used the current interest rate environment to increase long-term debt to give us the capital on a favorable basis to take advantage of future opportunities. We are still expanding in particular niche markets but the anticipated cyclical turn is clearly not at hand."
 W. R. Berkley Corporation is a holding company which does business through its subsidiaries, operating in three segments of the insurance business: regional property casualty insurance; specialty lines of insurance (including excess and surplus lines, commercial transportation and reinsurance); and insurance services operations (including management of alternative insurance market mechanisms).
 The comparative figures are as follows:
 W. R. BERKLEY CORPORATION
 Period ended Three Months Nine Months
 September 30, 1993 1992 1993 1992
 (Amounts in thousands except per share data)
 Revenues:
 Net premiums written $111,725 $109,418 $340,769 $318,968
 Increase in unearned
 premiums (7,585) (5,231) (25,540) (6,806)
 Premiums earned 104,140 104,187 315,229 312,162
 Net investment income 20,441 22,365 64,520 69,406
 Management fees
 and commission
 income earned 14,078 14,230 41,029 40,892
 Realized gains on
 investments 9,463 549 16,107 2,397
 Other income 557 362 1,198 816
 Total revenues 148,679 141,693 438,083 425,673
 Operating costs
 and expenses;
 Losses and
 loss expenses (76,609) (79,498) (228,182) (229,088)
 Other operg. costs
 and expenses (51,315) (46,422) (147,667) (138,122)
 Interest expense (5,720) (4,896) (16,581) (14,370)
 Income before income
 taxes, equity in
 earnings, and change
 in acctg. principle 15,035 10,877 45,653 44,093
 Federal income
 tax provision (2,564) (1,187) (7,323) (7,815)
 Income before equity in
 earnings and change in
 acctg. principle 12,471 9,690 38,330 36,278
 Equity in earnings
 of Signet Star 294 --- 294 ---
 Income before change in
 acctg. principle 12,765 9,690 38,624 36,278
 Cumulative effect of change
 in acctg. principle (A) --- --- --- 5,902
 Net income $12,765 $9,690 $38,624 $42,180
 Net income per share:
 Income before cumulative
 effect of change in
 accounting principle $.71 $.54 $2.14 $2.02
 Cumulative effect of change
 in acctg. principle (A) --- --- --- .33
 Net income per share $.71 $.54 $2.14 $2.35
 Average shares
 outstanding 18,057 17,940 18,039 17,926
 (A) During the fourth quarter of 1992, the Company adopted SFAS 109, Accounting For Income Taxes. The cumulative effect of this change in accounting principle increased net income for the nine months ended September 30, 1992 by $5,902,000 ($.33 per share). In addition, net income decreased for the three and nine months ended September 30, 1992 by $187,000 ($.01 per share) and $815,000 ($.05 per share), respectively, to reflect a change in the Federal income tax provision applicable to realized investment gains.
 Addendum No.1 To Press Release Dated November 5, 1993
 Supplementary Information
 (Amounts In Thousands Except Per Share Data)
 Period ended Three Months Nine Months
 September 30, 1993 1992 1993 1992
 After-tax amounts:
 Operg. inc. bef.
 special charge $ 8,658 $ 9,328 $ 30,198 $ 34,696
 Special charges(A) (2,044) --- (2,044) ---
 Realized
 investment gains 6,151 362 10,470 1,582
 Cumulative effect
 of change in
 acctg. principle --- --- --- 5,902
 Net income $12,765 $ 9,690 $38,624 $42,180
 After-tax nor share amounts:
 Operg. inc. bef.
 special charge $.48 $.52 $1.67 $1.94
 Special charges(A) (.11) --- (.11) ---
 Realized investment
 gains .34 .02 .58 .08
 Cumulative effect
 of change in
 acctg. principle --- --- --- .33
 Net income $.71 $.54 $2.14 $2.35
 9/30/93 12/31/92
 Balance sheet information:
 Investments:
 invested cash $183,380 $118,387
 Fixed
 maturity securities 1,183,454 1,245,201
 Equity securities 39,247 32,494
 Total investments $1,406,081 $1,396,082
 Total assets $2,114,424 $1,953,294
 Reserves for losses
 and loss expenses 1,007,722 995,247
 Long-term debt 254,801 205,001
 Stockholders' equity 508,261 474,396
 Common shares outstanding 18,075 18,020
 Stockholders' equity per share 28.12 26.33
 (A) Represents the Company's share of after tax expenses resulting from job separation arrangements in connection with the restructuring of Signet Star Holdings, Inc. and the resignation of a senior executive of the Company.
 -0- 11/5/93
 /CONTACT: Anthony J. Del Tufo, senior vice president of W. R. Berkley Corporation, 203-629-2880/
 (BKLY)


CO: W.R. Berkley Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: INS SU: ERN

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