Everest Re Group, Ltd. reported from its Barbados headquarters that first quarter 2004 after-tax operating income, which excludes realized capital gains and losses, was $151.5 million, or $2.67 per diluted share, a 45.6 percent increase compared to $104.1 million, or $2.02 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2003.
First quarter 2004 net income increased 33.6 percent to $126.1 million, or $2.22 per diluted share, compared to $94.4 million, or $1.83 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2003. Operating income differs from net income only by the exclusion of realized gains and losses on investments.
The company’s announcement noted the following highlights:
— Gross premiums written for the first quarter of 2004 were $1.22 billion, a 22.3 percent increase compared to $1.0 billion in 2003.
— Net premiums written were $1.18 billion, an increase of 23.7 percent from $951.9 million for the first quarter of 2003.
— The Company’s GAAP combined ratio in the first quarter was 90.8 percent compared to 93.5 percent in 2003.
— Net investment income for the first quarter was $100.9 million compared to $93.5 million in the first quarter of 2003.
— Cash flow from operations for the first quarter of 2004 was $399.6 million, an increase of 22.0 percent from $327.7 million in the first quarter of 2003.
— At March 31, 2004, the Company’s shareholders’ equity was $3.36 billion, or $60.17 per outstanding share. The change in book value per share represents a 6.3 percent increase from shareholders’ equity of $3.16 billion, or $56.84 per outstanding share, at December 31, 2003.
Commenting on the results, Chairman and CEO Joseph V. Taranto stated, “The Company continues to build on its leadership position and with strong earnings and a solid balance sheet, we believe we are well positioned to have another excellent year.”
Everest Re also reaffirmed its estimate of 2004 operating earnings at $10.00 – $11.00 per diluted share, absent any unusual losses or market developments.
The Company also announced that its subsidiary, Everest Reinsurance Company, has completed the sale of its United Kingdom branch to its affiliate, Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda), Ltd.
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