Everest Re Q3 Net Income $228.6 Million; Conference Call Today

October 29, 2009

The Bermuda-based Everest Re Group, Ltd. reported third quarter 2009 net income of $228.6 million, or $3.75 per diluted common share, compared to a net loss of $233.1 million, or $3.79 per common share, for the third quarter of 2008.

After-tax operating income, which excludes capital gains/losses, was $209.4 million, or $3.43 per diluted common share, for the third quarter 2009, compared to after-tax operating income of $12.6 million, or $0.20 per common share, for the same period last year.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2009, net income was $609.8 million, or $9.94 per diluted common share, compared to a loss of $2.2 million or $0.04 per common share, for the first nine months of 2008.

After-tax operating income, whic excludes realized capital gains/losses and the gain on the first quarter’s debt repurchase, was $571.8 million for the first nine months of 2009, or $9.32 per diluted common share, compared to $383.2 million, or $6.18 per common share, for the same period in 2008.

Chairman and CEO Joseph V. Taranto called the results “yet another milestone in Everest’s history with shareholders’ equity topping more than $6 billion at quarter end. Book value per share has increased 25 percent, since the beginning of the year, benefitting from strong earnings and the financial market recovery to date. These results are a testament to the discipline and strength of the organization.”

Everest Re also noted the following “operating highlights” for the third quarter:
— Gross written premiums increased 13 percent to $1.1 billion for the quarter compared to $999.2 million for the same period in 2008.
— The GAAP loss and combined ratios were 60.2 percent and 88.7 percent, respectively, for the quarter compared to 87.3 percent and 115.0 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of 2008. Last year’s results were impacted by catastrophe losses, primarily emanating from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Excluding prior year development and catastrophe losses, the current year attritional loss ratio was 56.8 percent, up slightly from the 55.5 percent reported for last year’s third quarter.
— Net investment income was $165.4 million, relatively flat compared to the third quarter of 2008. Limited partnership income added $23.5 million for the quarter due in large part to income from partnerships investing in public equities.
— Net after-tax realized capital gains totaled $19.3 million for the quarter, a major component, of which, includes after-tax fair value adjustments to the equity portfolio. This compares to net after-tax realized capital losses of $245.7 million in the same period last year.
Net after-tax unrealized capital gains totaled $343.5 million during the quarter, driven by a general decline in interest rates and a continued narrowing of credit spreads.
— Cash flow from operations was $314.7 million compared to cash flows of $375.4 million in the same quarter last year.
For the quarter, the annualized after-tax operating income1 return on average adjusted shareholders’ equity2 was 14.9 percent compared to 0.9 percent in 2008.
— Shareholders’ equity ended the quarter at $6.1 billion, up 23 percent from year-end 2008. Accordingly, book value per share increased 25 percent to $100.75 as of September 30, 2009 from $80.77 at year-end 2008.
— The Company repurchased 491,731 of its common shares during the quarter and 1.2 million of its common shares since year end. Through September, the total cost of the repurchased shares under this program was $90.5 million, representing an average purchase price of $75.44 per share. The repurchases were made pursuant to a share repurchase authorization, provided by the Company’s Board of Directors, under which there remains 4.6 million shares available.

The full earnings release and additional information may be obtained on the group’s web site at: www.everestre.com.

Everest Re will also hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time today, October 29, 2009. The call will be available on the Internet through the Company’s web site or at: www.streetevents.com.

Source: Everest Re

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