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On April 23, 2009, Delphi Financial Group ( DFG) reported that its Q1 FY09 earnings grew 15.8%, on improved investment performance and continued strength in its insurance operations. Net income rose to $24.48 million or $0.51 per share from $21.14 million or $0.42 per share in Q1 FY08. The latest quarterly earnings included after-tax realized investment losses of $14.30 million or $0.30 per share. Excluding these items, operating earnings were $38.78 million or $0.81 per share, which beat the most recent consensus estimate of $0.61 per share.

Total revenue spiked 8.3% to $398.58 million from $368.19 million a year ago, helped by higher net investment income and increased premium and fee income. Premium and fee income edged up 4.5% to $357.72 million from $342.29 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Net investment income swelled 94.4% to $62.86 million from $32.34 million, on increased yield from its investment portfolio. Net realized investment losses widened to $22.00 million from $6.44 million in Q1 FY08.

The combined ratio in group employee benefits insurance expanded to 93.20% from 91.30% a year ago, reflecting the higher expense ratios owing to increased spending on new product development at Safety National. Furthermore, the tax equivalent yield on the company's investment portfolio was 5.8% compared to 2.9% a year ago. In addition, total invested assets as of March 31, 2009 remained unchanged at $4.65 billion, while funds under management stood at $1.30 billion at the end of Q1 FY09.

Delphi Financial Group paid a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share to its common shareholders on March 11, 2009.

Looking ahead to FY09, the company lowered its operating earnings guidance to be in the range of $3.20 per share to $3.50 per share, from its previous forecast of $3.40 per share to $3.80 per share.

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