The Barbados-based Everest Re Group, Ltd. reported first quarter 2003 after-tax operating income of $104.1 million, or $2.02 per diluted share, a 58% increase compared to $66.1 million, or $1.35 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2002.
Net income, which includes realized gains and losses on investments, was slightly less at $94.4 million, or $1.83 per diluted share; still a 55% increase compared to $61.1 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2002.
The company reported that gross premiums written for the first quarter were $1.002 billion in 2003, a 68% increase compared to $596 million in 2002, while its GAAP combined ratio was 93.5% for this quarter compared to 99.3% in 2002. Net investment income for the first quarter was $93.4 million compared to $85.5 million in the first quarter of 2002. Cash flow from operations for the quarter was $327.7 million, an increase of 211% compared to $105.5 million in the first quarter of 2002.
Commenting on the Company’s results, Chairman and CEO Joseph V. Taranto stated, “I am extremely pleased that, for the first time in each case, it took nine digits to describe our quarterly earnings, 10 digits to describe our quarterly gross written premium and 11 digits to describe our total assets. We continue to receive excellent business opportunities; accordingly, we are increasing 2003 earnings guidance to $7.75 — $8.25 per share and providing 2004 guidance of $9.50– $10.50 per share, absent any unusual losses.”
At March 31, 2003, the Company’s shareholders’ equity was $2.49 billion (a book value per share of $48.90), compared to shareholders’ equity of $2.37 billion ($46.55 per share) at December 31, 2002.
The Company also announced that Mr. Taranto’s employment agreement has been extended to March 31, 2006.
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