Argonaut Group Reports Increased Earnings for Q1

San Antonio-based Argonaut Group Inc. announced that net income increased by 22.4 percent and return on equity (ROE) rose 21 percent in the first quarter of 2007 above that of the same period in 2006.

The company reported net income of $25.1 million ($.73 per diluted share); this compares to 2006 first quarter net income of $20.5 million, or $0.61 per share for the three months ended March 31, 2007.

Operating results improved in all three of Argonaut Group’s business segments; investment income rose 14.2 percent over the 2006 first quarter; cash flow increased to $52.1 million from $48.8 million during the same three months last year; and book value per diluted common share increased 3.6 percent from Dec. 31, 2006.

Total revenue was $234.4 million during the first quarter of 2007 versus $224.6 million for the comparable quarter in 2006. Total revenue includes realized gains on the sales of investments, which were $0.6 million and zero for the first quarters of 2007 and 2006, respectively. Earned premiums for the three months ended March 31, 2007, were $205.6 million compared to $199.9 million for the same three months in 2006.

The company’s combined ratio for the first quarter of 2007 was 94.2 percent versus 95.2 percent for the same three-month period in 2006. First quarter 2007 combined ratios for Argonaut Group’s primary business segments were as follows: Excess and Surplus Lines at 87.3 percent; Select Markets at 92.5 percent; and Public Entity at 82.0 percent.

Source: Argonaut Group,