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CST: 16/10/2019 04:43:43   

Conifer Holdings Reports 2019 Second Quarter Financial Results

69 Days ago

Company to Host Conference Call at 8:30 AM ET on Thursday, August 8, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Aug. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conifer Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNFR) (“Conifer” or the “Company”) today announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Second Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights

  • Gross written premium was $25.2 million
  • Commercial Lines combined ratio was 107.7% (with accident year combined ratio of 100.5%)
  • Personal Lines combined ratio was 197.9% (with accident year combined of 123.1%)
  • Net loss of $2.9 million, or $0.34 per share based on 8.4 million average shares outstanding
  • As of June 30, 2019, book value was $4.89 per share
  • Deferred tax asset totaling $1.32 per share was not reflected in the $4.89 book value

Management Comments
James Petcoff, Chairman and CEO, commented, “We continue to reposition toward writing more specialty lines where we can achieve underwriting profitability over a longer period.  During the quarter, we exited certain accounts that impacted our commercial lines premium, however we are seeing strong trends for commercial growth in the geographies and niche lines that we are targeting.  Throughout this transition, we have lowered operating costs and remain focused on efficiently managing the business.”

2019 Second Quarter Financial Results Overview

         
    At and for the
Three Months Ended June 30,
  At and for the
Six Months Ended June 30,
    2019   2018   % Change   2019   2018   % Change
                         
    (dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
                         
Gross written premiums $ 25,169     $ 26,562     -5.2 %   $ 49,385     $ 50,299     -1.8 %
Net written premiums   21,434       22,595     -5.1 %     41,756       42,439     -1.6 %
Net earned premiums   21,349       23,938     -10.8 %     43,036       47,739     -9.9 %
                         
Net investment income   1,051       838     25.4 %     1,961       1,639     19.6 %
Net realized investment gains (losses)   715       12     **       734       173     **  
Change in fair value of equity investments   (915 )     29     **       350       (268 )    
                         
Net income (loss)   (2,884 )     (1,113 )   **       (3,564 )     (900 )   **  
  Net income (loss) per share, diluted $ (0.34 )   $ (0.13 )       $ (0.42 )   $ (0.11 )    
                         
Adjusted operating income (loss)*   (5,597 )     (173 )   **       (9,844 )     1,607     **  
  Adjusted operating income (loss) per share, diluted* $ (0.67 )   $ (0.02 )   **     $ (1.17 )   $ 0.18     **  
                         
Book value per common share outstanding $ 4.89     $ 5.89         $ 4.89     $ 5.89      
                         
Weighted average shares outstanding, basic and diluted   8,370,782       8,520,328           8,411,835       8,520,328      
                         
Underwriting ratios:                      
  Loss ratio (1)   67.1 %     62.8 %         66.8 %     59.2 %    
  Expense ratio (2)   45.9 %     46.0 %         43.7 %     44.4 %    
  Combined ratio (3)   113.0 %     108.8 %         110.5 %     103.6 %    
                         
* The "Definitions of Non-GAAP Measures" section of this release defines and reconciles data that are not based on generally accepted accounting principles.
** Percentage is not meaningful
(1) The loss ratio is the ratio, expressed as a percentage, of net losses and loss adjustment expenses to net earned premiums and income from underwriting operations.
(2) The expense ratio is the ratio, expressed as a percentage, of policy acquisition costs and other underwriting expenses to net earned premiums and other income from underwriting operations.
(3) The combined ratio is the sum of the loss ratio and the expense ratio.  A combined ratio under 100% indicates an underwriting profit.  A combined ratio over 100% indicates an underwriting loss.
                         

2019 Second Quarter Premiums
Gross Written Premiums
Gross written premiums decreased 5.2% in the second quarter of 2019 to $25.2 million, compared to $26.6 million in the prior year period.  The decrease was due to lower commercial lines premiums, with a slight increase in personal lines premiums during the quarter.  During the period, growth in Conifer’s small business and core hospitality lines of business was offset by lower written premium due to the loss of one account that reduced written premium by $1.1 million during the quarter. 

Net Earned Premiums
Net earned premiums decreased 10.8% to $21.3 million for the second quarter of 2019, compared to $23.9 million for the prior year period.  The decrease is largely attributed to lower personal lines net earned premiums, which decreased by $1.9 million in the quarter.

Commercial Lines Financial and Operational Review

                                             
Commercial Lines Financial Review
    Three Months Ended June 30,   Six Months Ended June 30,
    2019   2018   % Change   2019   2018   % Change
                         
    (dollars in thousands)
                         
Gross written premiums $ 23,459     $ 25,008     -6.2 %   $ 46,043     $ 46,796     -1.6 %
Net written premiums   20,178       22,284     -9.5 %     39,484       41,706     -5.3 %
Net earned premiums   20,154       20,872     -3.4 %     40,852       41,000     -0.4 %
                         
Underwriting ratios:                      
  Loss ratio   62.1 %     59.0 %         61.3 %     54.9 %    
  Expense ratio   45.6 %     45.6 %         43.0 %     45.3 %    
  Combined ratio   107.7 %     104.6 %         104.3 %     100.2 %    
                         
Contribution to combined ratio from net                      
  (favorable) adverse prior year development   7.2 %     2.7 %         5.8 %     -0.8 %    
                         
Accident year combined ratio (1)   100.5 %     101.9 %         98.5 %     101.0 %    
                         
(1) The accident year combined ratio is the sum of the loss ratio and the expense ratio, less changes in net ultimate loss estimates from prior accident year loss reserves. The accident year combined ratio provides management with an assessment of the specific policy year's profitability and assists management in their evaluation of product pricing levels and quality of business written.
                         

The Company’s commercial lines of business, representing 93.2% of total gross written premium in the second quarter of 2019, primarily consists of property and liability coverage offered to owner-operated small- to mid-sized businesses, such as hospitality risks including restaurants, bars, taverns and professional organizations.

Commercial lines gross written premium decreased 6.2% to $23.5 million in the second quarter of 2019, largely due to the loss of a large account that reduced written premium by $1.1 million during the period.  Conifer reported strong double-digit percentage growth in select small-business specialty lines as the Company continues to shift its mix towards more profitable lines of business. 

For the second quarter of 2019, the commercial lines combined ratio was 107.7%.   The commercial lines accident year combined ratio was 100.5% for the quarter, and 98.5% for the six months ended June 30, 2019.

Personal Lines Financial and Operational Review

                                             
Personal Lines Financial Review
    Three Months Ended June 30,   Six Months Ended June 30,
    2019   2018   % Change   2019   2018   % Change
                         
    (dollars in thousands)
                         
Gross written premiums $ 1,710     $ 1,554     10.0 %   $ 3,342     $ 3,503     -4.6 %
Net written premiums   1,256       311     303.9 %     2,272       733     210.0 %
Net earned premiums   1,195       3,066     -61.0 %     2,184       6,739     -67.6 %
                         
Underwriting ratios:                      
  Loss ratio   147.8 %     87.5 %         165.7 %     85.3 %    
  Expense ratio   50.1 %     48.8 %         57.4 %     38.9 %    
  Combined ratio   197.9 %     136.3 %         223.1 %     124.2 %    
                         
Contribution to combined ratio from net                      
  (favorable) adverse prior year development   74.8 %     29.4 %         88.5 %     26.3 %    
                         
Accident year combined ratio   123.1 %     106.9 %         134.6 %     97.9 %    
                         

Personal lines, which consists largely of low-value dwelling homeowner’s insurance, represented 6.8% of total gross written premium for the second quarter of 2019.  Personal lines gross written premium increased 10% to $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the prior year period, largely due to steady growth in the Company’s low-value dwelling line of business. 

For the six months ended June 30, 2019, personal lines reported a $2.8 million underwriting loss, of which $2.5 million was attributable to wind-exposed homeowners lines, with the majority stemming from the Florida Homeowners business.  This loss was mostly due to $1.7 million of reserve development on prior years, and $343,000 of reinstatement premiums related to Hurricane Irma. 

Due to the planned decline in the wind-exposed business and the related reinstatement costs, net earned premiums were only $182,000 in the quarter, for the wind-exposed business.  This resulted in unusually high loss and expense ratios, which are expected to stabilize as the Company completes its transition out of wind-exposed lines.

Combined Ratio Analysis

                           
    Three Months Ended
June 30,
  Six Months Ended
June 30,
    2019   2018     2019   2018
                   
    (dollars in thousands)
                   
Underwriting ratios:                
  Loss ratio 67.1 %   62.8 %     66.8 %   59.2 %
  Expense ratio 45.9 %   46.0 %     43.7 %   44.4 %
  Combined ratio 113.0 %   108.8 %     110.5 %   103.6 %
                   
Contribution to combined ratio from net (favorable)                
  adverse prior year development 11.2 %   6.2 %     10.1 %   3.1 %
                   
Accident year combined ratio 101.8 %   102.6 %     100.4 %   100.5 %
                   

Combined Ratio
The Company's combined ratio was 113.0% for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, compared to 108.8% for the same period in 2018.  The Company’s accident year combined ratio for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 was 101.8%, compared to 102.6% in the prior year period.     

Loss Ratio:

  • The Company’s losses and loss adjustment expenses were $14.4 million for the three months ending June 30, 2019, compared to $15.1 million in the prior year period.  As a result of lower net earned premiums, however, Conifer reported a loss ratio of 67.1%, compared to 62.8% in the prior year period.

Expense Ratio:

  • The expense ratio improved slightly to 45.9% for the second quarter of 2019, compared to 46.0% in the prior year period.

Net Investment Income
Net investment income increased 25.4% to $1.05 million during the second quarter ending June 30, 2019, compared to $838,000 in the prior year period. 

Net Income (Loss)
In the second quarter of 2019, the Company reported net loss of $2.9 million, or $0.34 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.1 million, or $0.13 per share in the prior year period.

Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
In the second quarter of 2019, the Company reported adjusted operating loss of $5.6 million, or $0.67 per share, compared to adjusted operating loss of $173,000, or $0.02 per share, for the same period in 2018.  See Definitions of Non-GAAP Measures.

Earnings Conference Call
The Company will hold a conference call/webcast on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2019.

Investors, analysts, employees and the general public are invited to listen to the conference call via:

Webcast:   On the Event Calendar at IR.CNFRH.com
Conference Call:   844-868-8843 (domestic) or 412-317-6589 (international)
     

The webcast will be archived on the Conifer Holdings website and available for replay for at least one year.

About the Company
Conifer Holdings, Inc. is a Michigan-based insurance holding company.  Through its subsidiaries, Conifer offers customized insurance coverage solutions in both specialty commercial and specialty personal product lines marketing mainly through independent agents in all 50 states.  The Company is traded on the Nasdaq Global Market (Nasdaq: CNFR).  Additional information is available on the Company’s website at www.CNFRH.com.

Definitions of Non-GAAP Measures
Conifer prepares its public financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP).  Statutory data is prepared in accordance with statutory accounting rules as defined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual, and therefore is not reconciled to GAAP data.

We believe that investors’ understanding of Conifer’s performance is enhanced by our disclosure of adjusted operating income.  Our method for calculating this measure may differ from that used by other companies and therefore comparability may be limited.  We define adjusted operating income (loss), a non-GAAP measure, as net income (loss) excluding net realized investment gains and losses, and other gains and losses, after-tax, and excluding the tax impact of changes in unrealized gains and losses.  We use adjusted operating income as an internal performance measure in the management of our operations because we believe it gives our management and other users of our financial information useful insight into our results of operations and our underlying business performance.

Reconciliations of adjusted operating income and adjusted operating income per share:

           
      Three Months Ended
June 30,
  Six Months Ended
June 30,
      2019
  2018
  2019
  2018
                   
      (dollar in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
                 
Net income (loss) $ (2,884 )   $ (1,113 )   $ (3,564 )   $ (900 )
Less:              
  Net realized gains (losses) and other gains, net of tax   715       12       734       173  
  Change in fair value of equity securities, net of tax   (915 )     29       350       (268 )
  Net decrease (Increase) in deferred gain on losses              
    ceded to ADC, net of tax   2,913       (981 )     5,196       (2,412 )
Adjusted operating income (loss) $ (5,597 )   $ (173 )   $ (9,844 )   $ 1,607  
                   
Weighted average common shares, diluted   8,370,782       8,520,328       8,411,835       8,520,328  
                   
Diluted income (loss) per common share:              
  Net income (loss) $ (0.34 )   $ (0.13 )   $ (0.42 )   $ (0.11 )
  Less:              
    Net realized gains (losses) and other gains, net of tax   0.09       -       0.09       0.02  
    Change in fair value of equity securities, net of tax   (0.11 )     -       0.04       (0.03 )
    Net decrease (increase) in deferred gain on losses              
    ceded to ADC, net of tax   0.35       (0.11 )     0.62       (0.28 )
  Adjusted operating income (loss), per share $ (0.67 )   $ (0.02 )   $ (1.17 )   $ 0.18  
                   

Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements give current expectations or forecasts of future events or our future financial or operating performance, and include Conifer’s expectations regarding premiums, earnings, its capital position, expansion, and growth strategies.  The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on management’s good-faith belief and reasonable judgment based on current information.  The forward-looking statements are qualified by important factors, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including those described in our form 10-K (“Item 1A Risk Factors”) filed with the SEC on March 13, 2019 and subsequent reports filed with or furnished to the SEC.  Any forward-looking statement made by us in this report speaks only as of the date hereof or as of the date specified herein.  We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by any applicable laws or regulations.

                       
Conifer Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except share data)
               
          June 30,   December 31,
          2019   2018
Assets     (Unaudited)    
Investment securities:        
  Debt securities, at fair value (amortized cost of $123,324 and   $ 124,118     $ 120,440  
    $122,678, respectively)        
  Equity securities, at fair value (cost of $10,333 and $9,559, respectively)     11,862       10,737  
  Short-term investments, at fair value     4,614       8,925  
    Total investments     140,594       140,102  
               
Cash and cash equivalents     20,415       10,792  
Premiums and agents' balances receivable, net     23,125       21,247  
Receivable from Affiliate     1,783       3,582  
Reinsurance recoverables on unpaid losses     21,396       29,685  
Reinsurance recoverables on paid losses     9,835       5,060  
Prepaid reinsurance premiums     2,281       1,829  
Deferred policy acquisition costs     12,302       12,011  
Other assets     11,665       8,444  
      Total assets   $ 243,396     $ 232,752  
               
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity        
Liabilities:        
  Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses   $ 97,981     $ 92,807  
  Unearned premiums     51,606       52,852  
  Debt     34,658       33,502  
  Deferred gain on ADC     481       5,677  
  Accounts payable and accrued expenses     12,161       5,751  
      Total liabilities     196,887       190,589  
               
Commitments and contingencies     -       -  
               
Shareholders' equity:        
  Common stock, no par value (100,000,000 shares authorized;        
    9,519,550 issued and outstanding, respectively)     91,410       86,533  
  Accumulated deficit     (45,322 )     (41,758 )
  Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)     421       (2,612 )
    Total shareholders' equity       46,509       42,163  
      Total liabilities and shareholders' equity   $ 243,396     $ 232,752  
               

 

                                     
Conifer Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)  
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
                     
        Three Months Ended   Six Months Ended
        June 30,   June 30,
        2019   2018   2019   2018
                     
Revenue              
  Premiums              
    Gross earned premiums $ 25,082     $ 27,856     $ 50,632     $ 55,581  
    Ceded earned premiums   (3,733 )     (3,918 )     (7,596 )     (7,842 )
      Net earned premiums   21,349       23,938       43,036       47,739  
  Net investment income   1,051       838       1,961       1,639  
  Net realized investment gains   715       12       734       173  
  Change in fair value of equity securities   (915 )     29       350       (268 )
  Other income   581       450       1,003       807  
      Total revenue   22,781       25,267       47,084       50,090  
                     
Expenses              
  Losses and loss adjustment expenses, net   14,382       15,067       28,838       28,396  
  Policy acquisition costs   6,210       6,472       11,799       12,985  
  Operating expenses   4,340       4,303       8,663       8,489  
  Interest expense   725       617       1,435       1,236  
      Total expenses   25,657       26,459       50,735       51,106  
                     
Income (loss) before equity earnings and income taxes   (2,876 )     (1,192 )     (3,651 )     (1,016 )
  Equity earnings (losses) of affiliates, net of tax   (8 )     89       98       144  
  Income tax (benefit) expense   -       10       11       28  
Net income (loss)   (2,884 )     (1,113 )     (3,564 )     (900 )
                     
Earnings (loss) per common share,              
    basic and diluted $ (0.34 )   $ (0.13 )   $ (0.42 )   $ (0.11 )
                     
Weighted average common shares outstanding,              
    basic and diluted   8,370,782       8,520,328       8,411,835       8,520,328  
                     

For Further Information:
Jessica Gulis, 248.559.0840
ir@cnfrh.com

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