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FORT WORTH, Texas, March 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:HALL) ("Hallmark") today reported fourth quarter 2010 net earnings of $0.4 million compared to $9.3 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2009. Hallmark reported net earnings of $7.3 million for fiscal year 2010, compared to $24.6 million reported for fiscal year 2009. On a fully diluted basis, net earnings were $0.02 per share and $0.36 per share, respectively, for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010, as compared to net earnings of $0.46 per share and $1.19 per share, respectively, for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009. Total revenues were $79.3 million and $307.1 million for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010, up 8% and 7%, respectively, from the $73.5 million and $287.0 million reported for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009.
Mark J. Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Fiscal 2010 proved to be a year of challenges and opportunities for Hallmark. We missed our combined ratio target for the year due to a combination of factors affecting incurred losses in each of our three largest business units. Increased volatility of large losses and weather related claims negatively affected the results of our Standard Commercial and E&S Commercial business units. We also experienced uncharacteristically poor results in our Personal Lines business unit, as higher than expected growth from geographic and product expansion drove a greater proportion of less seasoned business into the total mix of policies in force. Compounding this situation was an extraordinary level of fraudulent claims from business written in the recent expansion state of Florida. In order to bring Personal Lines results back to acceptable levels, we are actively managing our exposure in less seasoned states through rate increases and aggressive agency plant management. We expect these efforts to bring our Personal Lines results back in line with our expectations by the end of 2011."