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The Chubb (CB)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2012 5:00 pm ET


John D. Finnegan - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman of Executive Committee and Chairman of Finance Committee

Paul J. Krump - Executive Vice President and President of Commercial & Specialty Lines

Dino E. Robusto - Executive Vice President and President of Personal Lines & Claims

Richard G. Spiro - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Michael Zaremski - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Amit Kumar - Macquarie Research

Josh Stirling - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Michael Nannizzi - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Vinay Misquith - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Jay Gelb - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Matthew G. Heimermann - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Meyer Shields - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Adam Klauber - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Jay A. Cohen - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Ian Gutterman - Adage Capital Management, L.P.



Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Chubb Corporation's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded.

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Before we begin, Chubb has asked me to make the following statements. In order to help you understand Chubb, its industry and its results, members of Chubb's management team will include in today's presentation, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. It is possible that actual results might differ from estimates and forecasts that Chubb's management team might make today. Additional information regarding factors that could cause such differences appears in Chubb's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the prepared remarks and responses to questions during today's presentation of Chubb's second quarter 2012 financial results, Chubb's management may refer to financial measures that are not derived from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures, calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP and related information, is provided in the press release and the financial supplements to the second quarter 2012, which are available on the Investors section of Chubb's website at

Please also note that no portion of this conference call may be reproduced or rebroadcast in any form without the prior written consent of Chubb. Replays of this webcast will be available through August 24, 2012. Those listening after July 26, 2012 should please note that the information and forecast provided in this recording will not necessarily be updated, and it is possible that the information will no longer be current.

Now, I will turn the call over to Mr. Finnegan.

John D. Finnegan

Thank you for joining us. We have a strong second quarter even with high catastrophe losses from multiple hail and windstorm events, continued slow economic growth and the impact of historically, low interest rate for an investment income.

These results reflected excellent x cat operating performance. We're also pleased that the positive momentum of rate increases in all our businesses continued in the second quarter.

Operating income per share was $1.37, an 8% increase compared to $1.27 in last year's second quarter. This resulted in an annualized operating ROE of 10.9%. The combined ratio for the quarter was 93.8 compared to 94.9 last year. Excluding tax, the combined ratio for the second quarter was 86.3 in 2012 and 83.6 last year, with the difference attributable almost entirely to lower favorable development this quarter.

During the second quarter, we had net realized investment gains of $47 million before tax, or $0.11 per share after tax. The spread on second quarter net income per share to $1.48 resulted in an annualized ROE of 10.4% for the quarter. GAAP book value per share at June 30, 2012 was $58.54. That's a 4% increase since year-end 2011, and an 8% increase since June 30, a year ago. Our capital position is excellent. We continue to make good progress on our share repurchase program.

Net written premiums for the second quarter were up 1%. Driven by Chubb Personal and Chubb Commercial Insurance, which were up 4% and 3% respectively. Growth at CPI and CCI were partially offset by a 6% decline in Chubb's Specialty premiums. Excluding the impact of currency translation, net written premiums at Chubb overall, were up 2%.

Given our strong x cat results in the first half and our outlook for the second half of the year, we've increased our operating income per share guidance for the full year by $0.33 to midpoint, as Ricky will discuss in more detail later. But we'll start with Paul, who will discuss the performance of Chubb's Commercial and Specialty Insurance operations.

Paul J. Krump

Thanks, John. In the Chubb Commercial Insurance, net written premiums for the second quarter were up 3% to $1.4 billion. The combined ratio was 97.5 versus 102.5 in the second quarter of 2011. Excluding the impact of catastrophes, CCI's second quarter combined ratio was 89.3, compared to 87.3 in the second quarter of 2011. We are pleased that CCI's average U.S. renewal rate increased in the second quarter by 9%, continuing the positive rate momentum of the past 4 quarters. This 9% rate increase compares with the 8% we obtained in this year's first quarter, and 2% in the second quarter of 2011.

CCI secured U.S. renewal rate increases in each line of business in the second quarter of 2012. Once again, Monoline property rates increased the most with a mid-teen average, followed by general liability, workers compensation, package, excess umbrella, automobile, boiler and Marine. Further evidence of an improved rate environment can be found in the higher proportion of our accounts, that renewed with rate increases. In the second quarter, about 90% of our U.S. accounts that renewed received a rate increase, compared to 80% in the first quarter of this year.

Turning to the CCI markets outside of the U.S., average renewal rates in Canada picked up nicely from the low single digits in the first quarter of the year to mid single digits in the second quarter. In Europe, average renewal rates were up by low single digits in the second quarter, matching what occurred in the first quarter of the year. In addition, CCI continued to obtain rate increases in Australia, along with some of our smaller markets in Asia. Average renewal rates in Latin America were flat in the second quarter. CCI's second quarter U.S. renewal retention was 84%, up 1 point from the first quarter.

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