Investors Title Company today announced its results for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. The Company reported net income of $1,019,207, or $0.46 per diluted share, compared with $17,415, or $0.01 per diluted share, for the prior year period.
Total revenues increased 46.2% versus the prior year period to $20,022,020, primarily due to a 51.6% increase in net premiums written. The premium growth is mainly attributable to the Company’s recent expansion into Texas, as well as to an overall increase in purchase transactions insured.
Agent commissions increased 94.3% over the prior year as a result of growth in agency premiums and an increase in agent business from markets with higher premium rates, primarily Texas. Excluding commissions and premium taxes, which fluctuate with the amount of premiums written, operating expenses decreased 5.1% versus the prior year period, mostly due to the reduction in claims expense. Claims expense benefitted from favorable loss development in recent policy years, as well as from a decline in the relative share of North Carolina business as a percentage of the total. Since North Carolina’s premium rates are less than half the national average, the resulting loss ratio for North Carolina business is higher than for our other markets. In addition, the Company continues to benefit from lower occupancy and operating costs in its branch offices.
Chairman J. Allen Fine added, “We are pleased to report an increase in revenues driven by continued expansion of our agent base, as well as a favorable mix of business. Operating expense comparisons remain favorable, driven by positive developments in claims loss rates and the continued impact of cost reduction initiatives from the past several years. Our balance sheet remains very strong, and we continue to focus on enhancing our competitive strengths and market presence.”Investors Title Company is engaged through its subsidiaries in issuing and underwriting title insurance policies. The Company also provides investment management services to individuals, companies, and banks and trusts, as well as services in connection with tax-deferred exchanges of like-kind property.