The Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. announced first quarter net income of $58.8 million or $2.05 per diluted share, compared to $40.2 million or $1.36 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2014.
Other earnings highlights were listed as follows:
— After-tax operating income was $29.3 million or $1.02 per diluted share, compared to $24.9 million or $0.84 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2014.
— Gross written premiums were up 2.9 percent to $476.7 million from $463.1 million in the first quarter of 2014.
— The combined ratio was 93.6 percent compared to 95.5 percent for the first quarter of 2014. The loss and expense ratios for the quarter were 54.9 percent and 38.7 percent, respectively compared to 56.0 percent and 39.5 percent for the first quarter of 2014.
— Net favorable prior-year reserve development was $3.7 million (benefiting the combined ratio by 1.1 points), compared with $8.9 million (benefiting the combined ratio by 2.7 points) for the first quarter of 2014.
— Estimated pre-tax catastrophe losses were $3.0 million or 0.9 points on the combined ratio, compared to $4.2 million or 1.3 points on the combined ratio for the first quarter of 2014.
— Book value per share increased to $59.48, up 2.2 percent from $58.22 at Dec. 31, 2014.
The report also noted that “during the quarter, the Company repurchased $18.1 million or 353,054 shares of its common stock at an average price of $51.37 per share (not adjusted for the stock dividend), which represents 1.2 percent of net shares outstanding at Dec. 31, 2014.”
CEO Mark E. Watson III commented: “Argo Group’s first quarter results represent an encouraging start to 2015. Our focus on improving margins and our total return investment strategy generated a 14.2 percent annualized return to shareholders.”
Source: Argo Group International Holdings
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