ZURICH, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE) today reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, of $1.69 per share, compared with $1.10 per share for the same quarter last year.(1)Income excluding net realized gains (losses) was $1.99 per share, compared with $2.14 per share.(2) The net realized and unrealized losses after tax were $291 million due to the mark-to-market pricing impact caused by continued widening of credit spreads and the decline in global equity markets. Realized losses due to credit impairment were $27 million. Book value increased $272 million, up 2% from December 31, 2008. Annualized return on average equity was 18.4%.(3) The property and casualty (P&C) combined ratio was 87.5%.
First Quarter Summary
(in millions, except per share amounts)
|(Per Share - Diluted)|
Net realized gains (losses), net of tax
Income excluding net realized gains (losses), net of tax(2)
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ACE Limited, stated: “ACE had a good first quarter, marked by strong operating and net income, with all divisions of the company making a positive contribution to results. Book value grew 2% and our ROE was over 18%.
“The strong U.S. dollar had a substantial and negative impact on our P&C premium revenue, which grew 7% in the quarter after adjusting for foreign exchange. We benefited from a generally firming market, particularly in our P&C reinsurance and global retail P&C insurance businesses. We also continued to benefit from the consolidation of Combined Insurance Company in our results.
“As the year goes on, I expect revenue growth to remain under pressure due to global recessionary conditions and foreign exchange. While many of our customers’ exposures are down due to reduced business activity, and many companies are in search of more affordable insurance alternatives, the quality of our portfolio of risks continues to improve given the firming pricing environment and the client flight to capability of a company like ACE.”
Other operating highlights were as follows:
Details of our financial results for our business segments are available in the ACE Limited Financial Supplement. Key segment items include:
Earnings guidance announced on December 18, 2008, for the ACE Group for the full year 2009 has not changed.
Please refer to the ACE Limited Financial Supplement dated March 31, 2009, 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 recoverable, loss reserves, investment portfolio and capital structure. The URL reference is: http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/10/100907/fin_supp_march_31_2009.xls.
ACE will host its first quarter earnings conference call and webcast on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 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 877-718-5111 (within the United States) or 719-325-4786 (international); passcode 4963586. 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 for approximately one month. To listen to the replay, dial: 888-203-1112 (in the United States) or 719-457-0820 (international); passcode 4963586.
The ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited, 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.
(1) All comparisons are with the same period last year unless specifically stated.
(2) Non-GAAP Financial Measures:
Operating Income or Income excluding net realized gains (losses), 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) and net realized gains (losses) included in Other (income) expense related to partially-owned insurance companies because the amount of these gains (losses) do not relate to their respective operations.
Underwriting income is calculated by subtracting losses and loss expenses, policy 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 and other intangible assets. See reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures on page 28 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).
(3) Calculated using income excluding net realized gains (losses) less perpetual preferred securities divided by average common shareholders' equity for the period. To annualize a quarterly rate, multiply by four.
(4) Book value per common share is common shareholders’ equity divided by the shares outstanding. Tangible book value per common share is common shareholders’ equity less goodwill and other intangible assets divided by the shares outstanding.
Combined Insurance – Combined Insurance Company of America and certain of its subsidiaries.
NM – not meaningful comparison
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Forward-looking statements made in this press release, such as those related to premium revenue, client behavior, economic and insurance market conditions, and company performance 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, integration activities and unexpected financial or operational performance with respect to acquired companies, unexpected effects or difficulties relating to the company’s re-domestication to Switzerland, 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.
Summary Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in millions of U.S. dollars, except per share data)
|March 31||December 31|
|Insurance and reinsurance balances receivable||3,853||3,453|
|Reinsurance recoverable on losses and loss expenses||13,713||13,917|
|Unpaid losses and loss expenses||$||36,931||$||37,176|
|Total shareholders' equity||14,718||14,446|
|Total liabilities and shareholders' equity||$||73,127||$||72,057|
|Book value per common share (4)||$||43.82||$||43.30|
Summary Consolidated Financial Data
(in millions of U.S. dollars, except share, per share data, and ratios)
|Three Months Ended|
|Gross premiums written||$||4,535||$||4,409|
|Net premiums written||3,424||3,154|
|Net premiums earned||3,194||2,940|
|Losses and loss expenses||1,816||1,579|
|Policy acquisition costs||481||468|
|Underwriting income (2)||378||455|
|Net investment income||502||489|
|Net realized gains (losses)||(121||)||(353||)|
|Other income (expense)||(14||)||(15||)|
|Income tax expense||125||153|
|Preference share dividend||-||(11||)|
|Net income available to holders of common shares||$||567||$||366|
|Diluted earnings per share:|
|Income excluding net realized gains (losses) (2)||$||1.99||$||2.14|
|Weighted average diluted shares outstanding||336.1||333.0|
|Loss and loss expense ratio||59.7||%||55.6||%|
|Policy acquisition cost ratio||15.2||%||16.2||%|
|Administrative expense ratio||12.6||%||12.8||%|
Consolidated Supplemental Segment Information
(in millions of U.S. dollars)
|Three Months Ended|
Gross Premiums Written
|Insurance - North American||$||2,078||$||2,181|
|Insurance - Overseas General||1,693||1,778|
Net Premiums Written
|Insurance - North American||$||1,392||$||1,360|
|Insurance - Overseas General||1,327||1,345|
Net Premiums Earned
|Insurance - North American||$||1,437||$||1,354|
|Insurance - Overseas General||1,184||1,223|
Income Excluding Net Realized Gains (Losses) (2)
|Insurance - North American||$||321||$||327|
|Insurance - Overseas General||209||256|