Investors Title Company today announced its results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2010. Net income increased 49.5% to $1,449,101, or $0.63 per diluted share, compared with $969,043, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the prior year period. The increase in net income was driven primarily by revenue growth versus the prior year period. Net premiums written increased 17.3% to $16,749,395 due to an increase in refinance activity.
Operating expenses increased 12.3% to $17,153,583 versus the prior year period, primarily due to increases in variable expenses tied to premium volumes. Commissions to agents increased 26.2% commensurate with an increase in agency premium volume. The provision for claims decreased 5.9% versus the prior year period due to unfavorable claims experience for the prior year quarter, partially offset by increases in the current provision resulting from higher premium volume.
For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010, net income decreased 11.4% to $4,004,076, or $1.75 per diluted share, compared with $4,519,479, or $1.96 per diluted share, for the prior year period. The decline in net income for the period was driven primarily by a 15.0% decrease in net premiums written, partially offset by a 13.5% decrease in operating expenses.
Chairman J. Allen Fine added, “We are pleased to report an improvement in operating results during the quarter, driven by an increase in the volume of refinancing activity due to historically low interest rates during the quarter. We were also pleased to see a continuation of the improvement in our claims loss rate, which contributed to a favorable comparison in the provision for claims. Our balance sheet and financial condition remain strong, and operationally we continue to emphasize efficiency improvements and the expansion of our agency base.”Investors Title Company is engaged through its subsidiaries in the business of issuing and underwriting title insurance policies. The Company also provides investment management services to individuals, companies, banks and trusts, as well as services in connection with tax-deferred exchanges of like-kind property.