HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE) today reported net income for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007 of $701 million or $2.10 per ordinary share after payment of preferred dividends, compared with net income of $489 million or $1.46 per share for the same quarter last year. Income excluding net realized gains (losses) was $663 million, or $1.98 per share, compared with $477 million or $1.43 per share for the same quarter of last year.(1) The first quarter 2006 results included an $80 million pre-tax charge pertaining to the settlement with certain governmental agencies of their investigations of various insurance industry business practices. The combined ratio for the first quarter was 87.1%. Annualized return on average equity based on the first quarter was 18.5%.(3)
|First Quarter Summary|
|(in millions, except per share amounts)|
|(Per Share - Diluted)|
|Net income||$ 701||$ 489||43%||$ 2.10||$ 1.46||44%|
Net realized gains (losses), net of tax
|Cumulative effect, net of tax(2)||-||4||-||-||0.01||-|
Income excluding net realized gains (losses) and cumulative effect, net of tax (1)
|Investigation-related settlement charge, net of tax||-||66||-||-||0.20||-|
|Income excluding net realized gains (losses), investigation-related settlement charge and cumulative effect (1)||$663||$ 543||22%||$ 1.98||$ 1.63||21%|
|Average shares outstanding||328.9||325.7|
Evan Greenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACE Limited, commented: “ACE had a very strong start to the year. We produced record net and operating income for the first quarter, and our tangible book value per share grew at a 22% annual pace. The quality of earnings was excellent, with strong contributions from both underwriting and investment income. Net written premium growth was in line with market conditions. Globally, we are maintaining underwriting discipline and avoiding business where prices and terms don’t meet our standards while driving for growth in those areas where we see opportunity.”
Other first quarter operating highlights were as follows:
Details of our first quarter 2007 financial results for our business segments are available in the financial supplement. Key segment items include:
Please refer to the ACE Limited Financial Supplement dated March 31, 2007, which is posted on the Company's website in the Investor Information section, and access Financial Reports for more detailed information on individual segment performance, together with additional disclosure on reinsurance recoverables, loss reserves, investment portfolio and capital structure. The URL reference is: http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/nys/ace/reports/fin_supp_mar ch_31_2007.xls. (Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field.)
ACE will host its first quarter earnings conference call and webcast on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The earnings conference call will be available via live and archived webcast atwww.acelimited.com or by dialing 800-819-9193 (within the United States) or 913-981-4911 (international); passcode 1477658. Please refer to the ACE Limited website in the Investor Information section under Calendar of Events for details. A replay of the call will be available from approximately 11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 until Friday, May 25, 2007. To listen to the replay, dial: 888-203-1112 (in the United States) or 719-457-0820 (international); passcode 1477658.
The ACE Group of Companies is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited, a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acelimited.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and financial performance and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. For example, the Company’s forward-looking statements could be affected by competition, pricing and policy term trends, the levels of new and renewal business achieved, market acceptance, changes in demand, the frequency of unpredictable catastrophic events, actual loss experience, uncertainties in the reserving or settlement process, new theories of liability, judicial, legislative, regulatory and other governmental developments, litigation tactics and developments, investigation developments and actual settlement terms, the amount and timing of reinsurance recoverable, credit developments among reinsurers, actual market developments, rating agency action, possible terrorism or the outbreak and effects of war and economic, political, regulatory, insurance and reinsurance business conditions, as well as management’s response to these factors, and other factors identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
1 Non-GAAP Financial Measures:
Operating Income or Income excluding net realized gains (losses) and cumulative effect, net of tax is a common performance measurement for insurance companies. We believe this presentation enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the underlying profitability of our insurance business. We exclude net realized gains (losses) because the amount of these gains (losses) is heavily influenced by, and fluctuates in part according to, the availability of market opportunities. We exclude the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle net of tax because this amount resulted in a one-time adjustment to income.
Underwriting income is calculated by subtracting losses and loss expenses, life and annuity benefits, policy acquisition costs and administrative expenses from net premiums earned. We use underwriting income and operating ratios to monitor the results of our operations without the impact of certain factors, including net investment income, other (income) expense, interest and income tax expense and net realized gains (losses). We believe the use of these measures enhances the understanding of our results of operations by highlighting the underlying profitability of our insurance business.
Tangible shareholders’ equity is shareholders' equity less goodwill. See reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures on page 20 in the financial supplement.
These measures should not be viewed as a substitute for net income determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
2 The cumulative effect is a benefit resulting from the inclusion of a forfeiture rate on restricted stock in our stock compensation expense calculations, as required under Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) 123R.
3 Calculated using income excluding net realized gains (losses).
4 Book value per ordinary share is ordinary shareholders’ equity divided by the shares outstanding.
Summary Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in millions of U.S. dollars, except per share data)
|March 31||December 31|
|Insurance and reinsurance balances receivable||3,689||3,580|
|Unpaid losses and loss expenses||$||35,813||$||35,517|
|Total shareholders’ equity||$||14,959||$||14,278|
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity
Book value per ordinary share(4)
Summary Consolidated Financial Data
(in millions of U.S. dollars, except share, per share data, and ratios)
|Three Months Ended
|Gross premiums written||$||4,496||$||4,511|
|Net premiums written||3,270||3,310|
|Net premiums earned||3,082||2,805|
|Losses and loss expenses||1,860||1,680|
|Life and annuity benefits||
|Policy acquisition costs||417||418|
|Net investment income||451||369|
|Net realized gains (losses)||16||7|
|Other (income) expense||4||(5)|
|Income tax expense (benefit)||129||134|
|Cumulative effect, net of tax||-||4|
|Preference shares dividend||(11)||(11)|
|Net income available to holders of ordinary shares||$||690||$||478|
|Diluted earnings per share:|
|Income excluding net realized gains (losses) and cumulative effect (1)||
|Weighted average diluted shares outstanding||328.9||325.7|
|Loss and loss expense ratio||62.1%||61.2%|
|Policy acquisition cost ratio||13.5%||15.1%|
|Administrative expense ratio||11.5%||14.3%|
Ratios exclude life insurance and reinsurance business
Consolidated Supplemental Segment Information
(in millions of U.S. dollars)
|Three Months Ended
|Gross Premiums Written|
|Insurance - North American||$||2,269||$||2,262|
|Insurance - Overseas General||1,659||1,584|
|Life Insurance and Reinsurance||90||61|
|Net Premiums Written|
|Insurance - North American||$||1,514||$||1,503|
|Insurance - Overseas General||1,192||1,146|
|Life Insurance and Reinsurance||88||61|
|Net Premiums Earned|
|Insurance - North American||$||1,539||$||1,334|
|Insurance - Overseas General||1,112||1,039|
|Life Insurance and Reinsurance||88||61|
Income Excluding Net Realized Gains (Losses) and Cumulative Effect(1)
|Insurance - North American||$||298||$||266|
|Insurance - Overseas General||215||159|
|Life Insurance and Reinsurance||43||31|